[ISEA2023] Paper: Célia Boutilier — Inhabiting the edges


Short Paper. Theme: Ecosystems – Climate Change Subtheme: Symbiotic Imaginaries

My doctoral project (2021-2024) is based on the intuition that we inhabit a world through the images we make of it. In this sense, it would seem that constructing ways of inhabiting a world involves ways of making images (physical or mental). But these images are the formal translations of the type of relationship we cultivate with the things of this world. Inhabiting therefore also, and perhaps above all, involves making specific ways of ‘relating’ to certain things in this world: cultivating a care in an attention to the Other, whether human or non-human, and using our images as compasses. Taking care of our relationships and their modes of existence goes hand in hand with taking care of the making of our images.

I will discuss the research mission of the team of biologists from the laboratory of the Paris Natural History Museum directed by Florent Martos (from 27/02 to 18/03/2023). Made up of Eve Hellequin, Rémi Petrolli and Tomas Figura, the team took samples of epiphytic orchids in the tree canopy of south-eastern Réunion Island, in order to determine whether this environment constitutes a particular mycorrhizal niche. These mycorrhizal associations are among the most specific in the plant kingdom. How do some epiphytic orchids arise and live in the Mare Longue forest? Can these associations be the source of new fictions (producers of the real), and in this way change our way of acting and inter-acting ? Can they inspire a specific aesthetic on the one hand and help us to think about our conditions as contemporary humans on the other ?

Intention: To photograph this place with the desire to feel it fully, while knowing that from it we will touch other places, both terrestrial and human.

  • Célia Boutilier (FR) After a DNAP at ENSA Dijon (2016), a year at ERG Brussels (2017), a collaboration with LadHyX Polytechnique (2014-2019), Célia Boutilier joins the Beaux-Arts de Paris (2017) to defend a DNSAP (2019). Since 2014 she has been collaborating with research laboratories (microfluidics – Polytechnique, and mycorrhizal symbioses – National Museum of Natural History) where she is interested in how imaging techniques participate in the elaboration of knowledge. Since 2016, her work has been exhibited at fairs and international events, including the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris and the Maison des Métallos. He has been quoted in several scientific journals, including Physics Today, The New-York Times, Le Monde. Since 2020, it has also been part of private collections such as the Altarea company or the GIDE Loyrette Nouel firm. In October 2021 Célia Boutilier starts a PhD in ‘Sciences, Arts, Creation, Research’ (SACRe-PSL) at the Beaux-Arts de Paris.