This is Major Tom to Ground Control (2012) – Generative installation

This is Major Tom to Ground Control is an installation consisting of a random text generator controlled by the reception and analysis of radio waves coming from the cosmos, and captured by a radio telescope of the Paris Observatory. In the installation, we first hear the sound of these waves, a kind of more or less agitated crackling resulting from their transposition into audible frequencies. The text generated by the dedicated computer program is then recited by a synthetic voice, then printed continuously on a matrix printer in order to create an infinite archive of messages received from the cosmos.

Le vide de la distance n’est nulle part ailleurs (2016) – A collection of space poetry

At the intersection of art, science, and literature, Le vide de la distance n’est nulle part ailleurs is the paper-based editorial extension of the This Is Major Tom To Ground Control installation. The book owes its title to the very first sentence produced by this device. It is from 11,545 textual fragments – themselves taken from the 27,757 pages printed by the installation since its beginnings – that the publishing project took shape through a process of writing by assembling and gluing. It is worth mentioning that in 2013, these thousands of pages were the subject of a 45-day consecutive performance during which the artist read them almost non-stop.

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Recombination (2015) – Interactive installation

Recombination is an interactive installation that invites the public to place their hand for a few seconds on a tactile sensor connected to a meteorite. The visitor then receives a message from the cosmos that is specially dedicated to him: a textual fragment from the installation This is Major Tom to Ground Control. Here, it is the presence of the visitor that makes the Universe speak; it is the contact of his hand with this object formerly present in the interplanetary space that allows to generate this “spatial poetry”.

To supervise the invisible is an uncertain operation: how to know if what is captured corresponds to reality? At the same time, nothing indicates that what is transmitted to us from the cosmos does not have the function of infiltrating our world, our reality. In this back and forth connection-transmission with interstellar space, the works of Véronique Béland remind us that what links us to each other and to the world is variable and indeterminate. And at the heart of our sometimes capricious communications, our capacity to see beyond what is monitored is activated.

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Photos: Cyprien Quairat