Sound & Vision presents two virtual reality works by Mélodie Mousset: HanaHana 花華 and Sing a Jellyfish. These experiences invite us to enter a world of digital synesthesia that blurs our sense of body and mind.
HanaHana 花華 (Japanese: “blooming, flower”) takes its name and inspiration from the manga One Piece in which a character has the infinite power to sprout body parts thanks to the magic of the Hana Hana no Mi “devil fruit.” Like the devil fruit, VR gives players these extraordinary abilities, and an opportunity to explore emotions through immersion into digital bodies. 200,000 players have “bloomed” more than 1 million hands across 60 exhibitions, all persisting in the experience of the world. Through the human hand — a source of creation and destruction — Mousset invites us into a liminal space that breaks down boundaries between self and technology.
Sing a Jellyfish is an iteration of a new collaborative work by Mousset and Edo Fouilloux that invites audiences to dive into the deep water of their consciousness in a mesmerizing, interactive VR soundscape. In a dream-like state underwater, players encounter a ghostly marine creature, a glowing jellyfish beckoning for players to sing through them. The jellyfish are controlled and animated with the pitch, vibration and intensity of the player’s voice, creating a surreal choir of the self. This art-experience provokes a state of self-hypnosis by visualizing the voice through immersive technology. Directed by Mélodie Mousset and Edo Fouilloux, produced by Morten Thorning.
Melodie Mousset’s HanaHana is presented in partnership with CCS Paris (October 27, 2019 – February 2, 2020) and with the Swiss Institute in Rome’s Festival Virtual Reality Experience – VRE (November 5-9, 2019).
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Mélodie Mousset is a French artist based in Zurich, Switzerland. A pioneer in the field of art and new media, her practice extend across a number of mediums, including installation, performance, photography, sculpture and virtual reality. In Melodie’s whimsical and absurd composition or decomposition pieces, the body becomes a site for physical and spiritual exchanges with technology. Chris Kraus, renown writer and award-winning author of the best seller “I Love Dick”, writes about Mousset’s work in the March 2019 issue of ArtReview: “I don’t think of Mousset as part of a lineage, unless it’s one of exceptionally original, anomalous artists who have the courage to pursue an idea as far as it will go. So, maybe Carolee Schneemann, Werner Herzog, Béla Tarr, Paul Thek, Bas Jan Ader, Jay DeFeo.” She studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Rennes, France; Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne, Switzerland; Royal College of Arts, London, and completed her Masters of Fine Arts at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, USA. Her work has been exhibited at institutions and galleries worldwide, including MOCA (Museum Of Contemporary Arts), Los Angeles; Kunst Museum Stuttgart; Bund Museum Shanghai; Zabludowicz Collection, London, The Metropolitan Art Society, Beirut, and SALTS, Basel. Mousset is a public speaker, and a visiting professor.
Throughout 2019, swissnex San Francisco brought together experts from a wide range of disciplines to explore the questions we confront in an age of CRISPR, genetics, the datafication of DNA, artificial intelligence, and synthetic biology. Connecting artists and scientists, this LifeCycle Series posed challenging questions about where we want our tech to take us: not only looking at what is possible today, but how to be responsible stewards of our new data-driven, health-tech revolution.