Pierre Huyghe Creates Site-Specific Work ‘Variants’ at Kistefos in Norway
On 12 June, Kistefos will present the 50th work in the sculpture park: a site specific work by Pierre Huyghe, Variants. It is Huyghe’s largest permanent work to date, and the most ambitious Kistefos sculpture park commission so far.
Variants is a multipolar entity that perceives, generates and modifies. It is simultaneously an island and what that island could be in an alternate reality.
The island has been scanned to become the environment of a live simulation. The two milieux, physical and digital, are permeable.
A fictional narrative gives a set of rules and prompts, played out by an artificial neural network that generates unpredictable mutations in the simulation, of what is present on the island, animate or inanimate, sounds or things, such as trees, trash, animals, or humans.
As contingent and fluctuant events occur within the island, in its geochemical or biological activity, the generated mutations change behavior in real time and the recurring floodwater accelerates their growth. The intelligences hosted by the spectral space are in an unresolved sympoiesis and permanent crisis.
Occasionally, mutations exit the simulation and manifest physically on the island where they sustain or decay, contaminating the existing reality with an unknown possibility of itself, progressively modifying the island’s appearance.
A path cutting through the island leads to a screen where the simulated environment is navigated by an autonomous and anxious eye, witnessing the island’s ever-changing nature.
As the flood submerges the island, it becomes inaccessible. But whether immersive or impenetrable, the indifferent entity continues.
Pierre Huyghe, Variants, 2021. Scanned forest, real-time simulation, generative mutations and sounds, intelligent camera, environmental sensors, animals, plants, micro-organisms and materialized mutations: synthetic and biological material aggregate.
Courtesy of the artist
3D Scanning, Pointcloud Visualisation and Engines by ScanLAB Projects
© Pierre Huyghe