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Quasi-Things Simulator 2024 © Marie Lelouche

Online creation

Quasi-Things Simulator

An online creation project by Marie Lelouche

From 27 June 2024 to 28 February 2025

Jeu de Paume – Online

The interactive project of the “Quasi-things Simulator” by French artist, Marie Lelouche, is an invitation to enter a simulator that transports the user into an arid, inhospitable environment. They feel their way through this universe from inside a bubble that reacts to the elements it comes into contact with.

In the style of a video game, the artist offers an exploration of this landscape of steppes, whose outlines can barely be made out, and in which the only traces of humanity are indicated by the names of winds anchored in the relief or floating in the atmosphere, linked to variations in weather conditions that affect the bubble as the user approaches them. Protected by the soft window, they observe the rain running down it, or the wind that rocks it. Like a vibrating skin, this bubble is both a guide and a refuge, offering a diaphanous view of its surroundings and providing a multisensory approach to these atmospheric phenomena.

By immersing the user in this simulator which impacts the senses, Marie Lelouche aims to depict the disorientation brought about by climate change, which is reshaping the environment and disrupting our relationship with it. Indeed, temperatures, landscapes and weather events are currently evolving in an unpredictable manner. How does this affect human beings? What can they lean on now?

Quasi-Things Simulator
Quasi-Things Simulator 2024 © Marie Lelouche

In this hostile universe with blurred boundaries that has been created by the artist, the user can hold on to what appears to be tangible and palpable: these words that designate the winds, each of which provides a specific experience. And yet, the closer they get to them, the more these words become redundant, losing their conventional meanings, and transforming themselves into ephemeral sculptures inclined to be affected by the elements.

During this exploration, a voice can gradually be discerned. Neither explanatory, nor descriptive, it provides a narrative on the simulation that is happening, at times poetic, mystical or pseudoscientific, prompting the user to reflect on the impact of the disorientation brought about by climate change and on the possibility of relearning how to exist with a new atmosphere.

Quasi-Things Simulator
Quasi-Things Simulator 2024 © Marie Lelouche

To create this floating, intangible environment, the artist drew inspiration from two short stories by J.G Ballard, in which the author sculpts evanescence and offers matter an agency, which acquires, as the pages go by, inspiring and phantasmatic properties . These “sound sculptures” have fuelled the imagination of the artist to also create a work made out of the elements. This inspiration joins with the notion of “quasi-thing”, coined by the philosopher Tonino Griffero, which Marie Lelouche links directly to her multisensory sculptures. Quasi-things don’t have precise contours, but affect human beings directly and over the long term. In this way, the artist creates an “atmosphere” that may refer to the gaseous envelope, traversed by meteors, that surrounds the earth, as well as to an emotional space.

Through this bubble transformed by wind, frost or snow, Marie Lelouche thus invites the user to discover her sensory experience of vision and sound, and be carried along with the flow of the elements.

Marie Lelouche is a French artist whose work is based at the crossover between different forms of spatiality. Born in 1984 in Saint-Junien, she graduated from the Beaux-Arts de Paris, from the Sorbonne and from Le Fresnoy. She is currently completing a PhD in research/creation between the UQAM in Montreal and Le Fresnoy, on the subject of post-digital sculpture.

Interested in the evolution of forms in their technocultural context, with a special focus on the perceptual possibilities opened up by XR (Extended Reality), she was awarded the DICRéAM grant, the Pictanovo Interactive Experiences Fund, the ISEA2023, she received a special mention for the Adagp Digital Art Revelations Awards and was a finalist for the Opline Prize and the Siemens Ingenious Prize.

Her work has been shown in private exhibitions, in particular at the Mazzoli Gallery (Berlin), at Spazio InSitu (Rome), at the Alberta Pane Gallery (Venice), as well as at Les Tanneries –  Contemporary Art Centre (Amilly – France). Her work has also been exhibited in fairs, including Drawing Now (Paris), ArtBrussels (Brussels) and Artissima (Turin) and at group exhibitions housed in the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Seoul), the Cyan Museum of Art (Cyan – South Korea), the A.dition Gallery (Seoul), the Mirage Festival (Lyon), the Espace Croisé Contemporary Art Centre (Roubaix), the Cité du Design (Saint Étienne), at the LaM Museum (Lille) as well as the Francesco Fabbri Foundation (Treviso, Italy).

She is represented by the Alberta Pane Gallery, Paris/Venice.

Prototyping and development: Marie Lelouche
Shader programming: Thibaut Rostagnat
Development: Lou Gallay
Voice: Léonie Young
Voice recording and processing: Julien Puyau.