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L’Écorce du vent

Laureates of the A.R.T.S Prize 2010, Pascal & Aurélie Baltazar and Georges Zissis, scientist at the Laboratory on Plasma and Conversion of Energy, University Toulouse III, worked on the "L’écorce du vent" project.

The project and the laureates
The show called "L’écorce du vent" revealed successive layers of curtains perceived as layers of reality, as steps in a silent adventure of spaces at repeated intervals ; a sensual meditation on desire, on expecting something, on looking at something...

Find out about the residency in the Cahiers n°6 les Cahiers n°6
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Artistic Project

Our aim was to direct our research towards a stage production conceived as a "plastic theatre", a "scenography in motion" while we were exploring possible combinations between different stage materials (sound, light, materials, movement...), their individual as well as common dynamics, so as to develop a stage language with no pre-set frontiers between sound and image, fullness and emptiness, visible and invisible.

Scientific/Technological Project

The scientific aspect of the project meant to investigate some transient applications of light sources, generally avoided in their normal use. Thereby this work would yield to better understand certain physical mechanisms, rarely studied so far (acoustic resonance and striation). Our expertise permitted us to better control and adapt these phenomena to the scenographic concept. To ensure these transitory phases, we have developed an electronic power supply specifically for discharge lamps. We will also test different LED solutions towards adapting them in the best way to the artists’ specific needs. We were also able to analyse the effects they had on spectators’ visual perception, especially at the extreme limits of perception. Finally, we have concluded that transferring technology from research and lighting to artistic domains, proves to be utterly beneficial and mutually prolific for both partners.

Joint Research Project

Our research project proposal for this art-science workshop focused on implementing a research and experiment process prior to a stage production, using light as a stand-alone element for artistic expression and analysing its dynamic interconnection with other stage elements.

Our art-science collaboration was deployed in three axes :

  • Finding an innovative application for LED technology
  • Investigating experimental light producing devices
  • Observing the effects of these experiments on visual perception

We carried out research in several phases :

  • An important phase of experiments, research and developing the light toolset, before and during the stage work
  • A research and creativity workshop to design the stage elements and connecting them with the light toolset
  • Two experimental sessions assembling these elements on stage. The first session studied perceptive effects of light on spectators who had previously been tested. The second phase ended with a short presentation in front of the audience.

The laureate artistic and scientific team
Pascal and Aurélie Baltazar have been collaborating since 2006 with the aim to develop hybrid dramaturgical forms at the intersection of sound, text and scenography, combining and also shifting their respective practice so as to create a common language.
What they are seeking through these new forms of expression, is to put mental space on stage while exploiting pending time, fragility, suggestions...
They have already produced a piece of electro-acoustic audio poetry, "L’écorce du vent", as well as a radio play for synthetic voice, (°v°) with Pol Perez electrographic artist. They are currently working on an audio tale for young audiences, "Les aventures de Gulup le courant d’air" (Gulup, the Draft’s Adventures).

Aurélie Baltazar

She was involved in humanitarian projects, studied political science (IEP Lille) and political anthropology (EHESS Paris), attended several writing, movement and stage directing workshops (V. Novarina, C. Riboli), has published in several journals and was awarded with the "Prix de la poésie de la Crypte" in 2006.
Since 2007, she has dedicated herself to writing and artistic creation full-time.
Two poetic texts are in press.
She produces the audio play called "Froissement" in collaboration with Pascal Baltazar.
She has a writing project and a stage project on the way.
She attempts to give shape to what is unspeakable, put it in words, sound or image. No customary speech. One’s and others’ hidden self.

Pascal Baltazar

Intermedia composer, his main interests relate to the spatial and temporal perception of sound, the relationship between sound and human body, musical gesture and to space.
He develops his own IT gesture instruments and enhances his musical compositions using light, image and/or various sensors and actuators.
After studying philosophy (thesis on aesthetics of music : "The sound image, materials and sensory experiences" research directed by R.Carasco. 2001. University Toulouse II), he attends B. Dubedout’s classes in electroacoustic composition at the Conservatoire National de Région de Toulouse.
He has led, or collaborated on various projects as a composer, sound director and designer of responsive intermedia installations or toolsets, was invited to several international festivals : Présences Électroniques and Festival de Montpellier (Radio France), reBonds (Albi, France), Novelum (Toulouse), Borealis (Bergen, Norway), Space+Place (Berlin), Synthèse (Bourges), Videomedeja (Novi Sad, Serbia)...
He was awarded with the first prize at the competition SCRIME 2003 and received a distinction at the competition IMEB 2002 in the multimedia category. He was also commissioned by the French State, GMEA, INA-GRM, Maison Salvan and by BEK (Bergen Centre for Electronic Arts, Norway).
He was in charge of research at GMEA, Centre National de Création Musicale in Albi-Tarn and coordinated the Viraga research platform on intermedia composition in performing arts, commissioned by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche in the framework of their Audiovisual and Multimedia Programme.

Georges Zissis

Born in Athens in 1964, holds a degree in Physics from the University of Crete (Greece). He holds a Master’s degree in Scientific Research and a Doctorate from the Université de Toulouse III (France).
He is University Professor (Université de Toulouse III) and Deputy Director at LAPLACE (Laboratory on Plasma and Conversion of Energy) assembling researchers from Université de Toulouse III, Institut National Polytechnique and the CNRS.
His work relates to science and technology of light sources. He directs the "Light & Matter" research group at the LAPLACE involving fifteen researchers in the field of illumination systems. He has published 69 scientific articles in international journals (listed in WoS) and in 20 national magazines, one book and 12 chapters in collective works, has delivered 19 conference talks.
He has been invited to prestigious international scientific events and has published over 200 national as well as international conference papers.
He was awarded with the Century Challenge prize by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) for his work on standardization of urban lighting systems. In 2009, he was awarded the Energy Globe Award for France and the Fresnel Medal by the AFE.
Professor Zissis served as President at COST-529 within the "Efficient Lighting for the 21st Century", involving over 80 scholars and industry representatives from 20 European countries. He was also President at the Midi-Pyrénées regional centre of Association Française de l’Eclairage (AFE).
He has coordinated several European (EnERLIn, NumeLiTe) international (NATO, UND/DP, INTAS …) and national (ADEME, Région MiP) projects.
He acted as Chief Expert, appointed for the implementation of "Energy Efficient Lighting" programme of the Russian Federation under the Development Programme of the United Nations (UN-DP/GEF). He is also a reporter and jury member for national (ANR Prebat, Habissol ANR, ANR Blanc OSEOANVAR, PIE-CNRS) and international (ETF-Technology Foundation STW and Netherlands, Research Grant Council of Hong Kong, Energimyndigheten-Agency Swedish Energy, Czech Science Foundation ...) programmes.
He is a member of the Editorial Board for the IEEE/OSA Journal of Display Technology and Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions Industrial Applications Society. He was appointed by AERES expert for the evaluation of CEA/LETI activities.

Finally, he participated in the work of the "LED" Working Group at the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health (AFSSET) and he is also member of the "Photocatalysis" Working Group B44A at the French Standardization Agency (AFNOR).

Follow up on the residency : Exploring "Tinel"
Following up on the residency at the Chartreuse of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, from 2 to 9 November 2011, the Baltazars presented a small stage production developed from experiments conducted during the residency, on the relationship with space, architecture, and context...
"The Tinel seems confrontational in its very nature, in its own architecture, the perpetual opposition between the material and the spiritual, between rationality and religion. It is this tension that we want to investigate using sensitive materials, playing with space and with spectators’ perception."

Watch the video