Being Close is a cross-border art project by the artist duo Aïlien Reyns and Marius Packbier (TRIPOT), born from a collaboration between cultural, social and academic organisations and artist from the Meuse–Rhine Euroregion that results in a mixed media installation that combines a digital and a physical representation of nature in one multi-sensorial experience.

The work aims to make perceivable the distance between the subject-spectator and the object-nature, while at the same time creating proximity between the subject and the installation as representation. A questioning of how we perceive, render present and represent an object. Being Close invites the spectator to negotiate on his or her response to and perception of nature.

The installation consists of a modulare room that will be constructed in the exhibition space. The spectator can enter the room and walk through it while being surrounded by nature-evoking sounds and smells as well as a a dense arrangement of real plants. At the back of the installation a video screen is integrated showing a continuous movement through a natural environment in impressionistic digital images.

The video images are recorded by three cameras simultaneously. The cameras are placed one after another on a mount, each one capturing the display of the camera in front. Through this process of synchronous production and reproduction digital artifacts emerge and superimpose the original visual content. The image transforms gradually becoming ever more ambiguous and mesmerizing.

The video image is projected on a screen that is integrated into the plant installation causing the two optical phenomena to merge. The visual experience will be completed with a sound piece composed of natural and synthetic noises as well as an artificially fabricated scent composition that blends with the organic smells of the plants. The interaction of visual, auditory, olfactory and tactile stimuli generates a perceptual space that absorbs the spectator without fully concealing its own constructedness.

preview video projection

This project was made possible by the support of several partners

Creative collaboration: Akademie für Handwerksdesign Gut Rosenberg (Aachen, DE), Jérémie Hynderick (Grand-Leez, BE), Paul Devens (Maastricht, NL)

Exhibition partners: Neuer Aachener Kunstverein (Aachen, DE), SCHUNCK* (Heerlen, NL), C-Mine cultuurcentrum (Genk, BE), Emile Van Dorenmuseum (Genk, BE), PXL Congress (Hasselt, BE)

Research collaboration: Johan Van Den Bosch of ‘Regionaal Landschap Kempen en Maasland vzw’, Hanne Vercampt of the University of Hasselt, Detlef Sambale of ‘Stadt Aachen’, Josef Wegge and Christoph Vanberg of ‘Biologische Station StädteRegion Aachen e.V.’