22.04 — 22.05 / 2021

BétaLab0421 – Autofading_Se disparaître


The piece uses virtual reality and non-linear sound composition technologies to poetically question the presence of human beings in their environment. Wearing the headset, the spectator is plunged into the heart of a forest generated in “cloud points” data, which evolves according to the attitude of observation and attention that he favors.

The experience begins in a virtual environment swept by wind and fog, in which snow falls from the sky. When the spectator adopts slow movements, the wind calms down and the fog dissipates. Noises gradually appear : a stream flows, a flutter of wings emerges, a cracking sound or the crumpling of dry grass appears at his feet. The more the observer slows down his gestures, the more the micromovements of the forest become perceptible and multiply. Thus, sounds and animals seem to come closer, birds appear, a woodpecker hammers a tree, etc. This quietude full of delicate details collapses as soon as the observer makes a sudden gesture. The storm then rises, provoked by the too marked human presence, leaving only the shadows of disappearing volatile particles perceptible.


Caroline Gagné’s artistic practice is based on a sensitivity to the places she explores. With a critical approach, she examines our relationship to what surrounds us. For her residency project, she proposes the creation of an evolving situation that calls for an attitude of observation and attention, a willingness to listen. To do this, she intends to invite the visitor to disturb an ecosystem in equilibrium, which here takes the form of an interactive work created from virtual reality technologies and 3D sound spatialization. Thus, by putting forward the opposition between real and virtual presence, Gagné hopes to poetically problematize the presence of human beings in their environment, considering the irreversible impacts that we know today to this presence.

“What struck me when I experimented with virtual reality was the impression that the body becomes an empty space: it exists and sees around it what it is proposed to see, but remains erased. This made me aware of an important and recurrent aspect of my work, an angle that I had never explicitly examined before, that of the presence that is nevertheless intrinsic to the use of interactivity and sound in my installations. ” – Caroline Gagné



The artist thanks the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec for its financial support.