[ISEA2020] Artists Statement: Nina Bouchard & Evan Montpellier (Serious Computer Group) — Nova

Artists Statement

Tags: Responsive, Software System, Video Installation, Visual Patterning

Nova is a responsive video installation. The work is a study of waves, in which a software system combines video footage of water and synthesized graphics to generate evolving visual patterns in real time. These patterns gradually adapt to movement in the work’s environment, creating a contemplative relationship between Nova and its viewers.

At the heart of Nova is a set of visual compositions in which subtle, shifting colours play across imagery that is simultaneously familiar and alien. While the projections appear tranquil at a passing glance, focused attention reveals an intricate tapestry of movement unfolding in time.

As a complex generative system, composing images with Nova involves relating to the computer as if it were a collaborator rather than an inanimate tool. We are interested in developing this communicative form of composition through the use of machine learning and artificial life techniques. In the context of ISEA2020, we will be in residence at 4th Space actively experimenting with these methods in order to expand and accelerate our exploration of Nova’s aesthetic possibilities.

  • Serious Computer Group (SCG) is the duo of Nina Bouchard & Evan Montpellier. Founded in 2018 and based in Montréal, Canada, SCG works across a range of physical and digital disciplines, including interactive installation, photography and filmmaking, programming and electronics, sound and video art. SCG’s goal is to synthesize its diverse practices into novel hybrid aesthetic languages, balancing formal experimentation with an accessible sensibility and an appreciation for narrative. In 2019, SCG held its first exhibition at the FOFA Gallery in Montréal. Upcoming projects include Nexus, a research project on the links between divination and computing, as well as an exhibition at the BAnQ Grande Bibliothèque in conjunction with Polytechnique Montréal. serious.computer