Matt Pyke, Presence 2.1, 2013.
Matt Pyke’s digital work Presence is a mesmerising example of what the artist does best: to give contemporary technology the ability to become anthropomorphous, tangible, beautiful; and to draw on the best and brightest talents to collaborate with him in order to realise a project. The Presence series consists of 24 films created from six separate dance sequences - each with four variations. Presence 2.1 is available exclusively on Sedition.
Presence is a grand collaboration: choreographer Benjamin Millepied and his LA Dance Project; architect Irene Shamma, composer Simon Pyke, animator Chris Perry, and programmer Mike Tucker all helped to realise Presence. Pyke was introduced to Millepied during a previous project and discovered that "we had a shared motivation for breaking conventions, being inventive with technologies and finding new ways to represent the human form."
It requires a delicate balance between abstraction and the figurative to create an artificial form whose movement feels alive, not synthetic. Pyke: “First we had the dancers think about the sculptures their bodies create through space, and how these sculptures represent music. Then we considered how the screen can be a stage, with all movement contained within the screen-boundaries to create physical presence in the space.” Using motion-track technology, dancer’s movements were captured as they performed choreographed dances following strict structural rules, based on a rhythmic pulse. Subsequently, the footage was manipulated and abstracted into animated sculptural forms that only hint at their origins: the chamber-like space of the screen fills with an immersive, rhythmic, ever-changing audio-visual performance - alive with primal expressions of gestural drawing and choreography. Colour scheme and abstraction follow rules like ‘faster movement equals stronger colours, smaller movements cause colour to recede’, and so on; and in order to keep the focus on form, bursts of colour only fill the space in response to audio-peaks of the soundtrack.
Presence is a work about contemporary technology and its almost limitless possibilities; the beauty it can contribute to everyday lives. Pyke: “I wanted to find the harmony and tension between drawing architecture, human movements, CGI and interaction. I have long been exploring the delicate balance between figurative and abstract forms.” Presence is a work about being human: about what makes the species human as such: its fragility, its physicality, its creativity - it is about humanity’s presence. Pyke: “how far can you abstract things and still see the human presence inside? Can you still feel the soul inside there?”
The work, Video – Full HD 02:00 / Still – High-resolution image (PNG), 1920x1080px, is an edition of 300. Presence is also part of s[edition]’s dynamic pricing model. As edition availability decreases the price of the work increases.
This limited Matt Pyke digital edition is available on s[edition]