The Unbearable Lightness of Being: Nimbes by Joanie Lemercier and James Ginzburg

A collaboration between French visual artist Joanie Lemercier and Bristol-based sound artist James Ginzburg, Nimbes explores the solitary nature of perception in relation to the physical expansion of the universe.  While the concept is heavy, the actual piece - an immersive 15 minute audio-visual experience - is expansive and filled with light.

Starting with actual footage of forests, cathedrals, deserts, and even volcanoes from around the world, Lemercier and Ginzburg then used 3D modeling and 2D photoscan imaging to alter and enhance the images, rendering them suitable for projection on a domed surface. The result is a dream-like combination of pointillism, photography, and astrological chart that weaves a creation story of sorts over the upturned faces of prone viewers.

The soundtrack for Nimbes, performed by contrabassist Yair Glotman and percussionist Brandon Rosenbluth, was first recorded in an empty powerplant in Berlin, then mixed, edited and produced by Ginzburg in Bristol.  A final mix was done in the projection dome at the Societe des Arts et Technologies, or SAT, in Montreal where the piece was inagurally shown. 

In describing the piece, Lemercier refers to cosmogony, a theory which refers to the creation of both of the universe, and the "reality" of sentient beings. Nimbes takes on both expansions from the eye of an ambient observer - as the universe unfolds, as does human intelligence and man-made works upon the earth, a journey we witness in a non-linear melange of mysterious, iconic, light infused imagery. 

Photography courtesy of Societe des Arts et Technologies