'THE THINGS ? – A TRIP TO EUROPA'
Solo Show by Marguerite Humeau
An Exhibition as a Trailer
curated by Alexandra Midal
Design Project Room, Geneva, CH
06 Dec 2013 – 15 April 2014
Proposal for Serenading Outer Space Creatures with Stunts, Vibrations, Chemistry, Light, and Live Magic
The Things? – A Trip to Europa is a design odyssey that was triggered by the rumour that creatures are living under the ice cap of Jupiter's icy moon Europa. The project is a fictional trip to Europa performed as a real expedition to Antarctica.
The Trailer Exhibition mysteriously announces the film of an expedition that has not happened yet. Different elements from the film (a soundtrack, props, opening credits, a script) are disassembled and presented as independent pieces of work.
CREDITS & COLLABORATORS
Director: Marguerite Humeau
Art Direction, Video, Graphic design: Benjamin Penaguin for Le Studio Humain - lestudiohumain.com/
Soundtrack: The Coward - thecoward.fr/
Epistolary Novel design: André Freiermuth
Electronics and performance sound design: Charles Chalas
Screen-printing: Clément Coubès
Supported by: HEAD-Genève and The Warped M Productions
The project is a fictional trip to Europa performed as a real expedition to Antarctica.
The ‘Black Smokers’ – underwater volcanoes which give off a thick black smoke – of Antarctica are thought to be the closest equivalent on Earth to Europa's mysterious depths. The East Scotia Ridge, located near the Antarctic ice cap in the South Atlantic Ocean, is therefore used as a test bed for the exploration of Europa and as a location for the project.
About two years ago, against all expectations, unidentified species were found living in these ‘Black Smokers’, without any oxygen or sunlight. The dream of encountering extraterrestrial life came true … and the idea of communicating with these otherworldly beings became the resulting ambition.
These creatures are known to exist, but their means of communication are still mysterious to humans. I had to speculate on these aliens’ habitat. The creatures might be blind, and are potentially microbes, worms, albinos crabs, octopuses or other strange and unknown creatures. However, they might feel the shapes and movements of their surroundings by emitting and receiving sound waves, vibrations, light and chemical powder.
A Trip to Europa is a proposal for serenading these creatures with stunts, vibrations, chemistry, light, and live magic. Acting as a designer-illusionist, the designer has conceived devices and incantatory performances to trick these otherworldly creatures into responding to her communication signals.
I will perform incantatory stunts: a series of live stunts staged live on and around the ice cap of Antarctica, above the underwater volcanoes, with sound-emitting props, artificial chemicals, vibrating inflatable dummies, air guns simulating explosions and other special effects.
I call these performances ‘Design Blockbusters’.
My intention is to coax the creatures into revealing their secrets by re-enacting stories that happened in Antarctica and which the creatures might have witnessed. By adding a fantastical twist to each of these stories, fictions will be invented for these otherworldly beings.
This new type of entertainment will be conceived and orchestrated to reach these specific lifeforms. The obscure cinematic machinery presented might therefore appear cryptic to human spectators.
All will be intended to elicit a response, but there is no guarantee that there will ever be one.
An expedition yacht will depart soon from the southern point of South America with the destination of Antarctica. Its mission is to produce the first 'Design Blockbuster' for these almost-extraterrestrial creatures: a fictionalised re-enactment of a mysterious plane crash that happened above the East Scotia Ridge in 2010.