As an artist and teacher working with AI, Christian Chegne’s interests are rooted in themes of the human body, nature, and technology. Christian describes the body as an “initiator of forms”, and how through the use of technology we can ultimately become closer to our human instincts and the naturalness of expression.
In 2019, Christian collaborated with dancer Tom Weksler to create “The Essence of Movement”, a series of artworks illustrating the unique movement of the human body. Having recently been introduced to crypto art, Christian is bringing a work from this series, titled “Living Architecture”, to the blockchain. We had the pleasure of interviewing Christian on the inspiration behind this body of work, how it was initiated and the impressive technology used to bring it to life.
Ephimera: Tell us a bit about how this project came to life.
Christian: This project came to life out of a frustration and/or curiosity. In the past, I was making large abstract paintings and I’d often lend a perspective of movement to their creation; seeing how the body, the arms and the hand could engage in a dance to create upon the canvas. However, this didn’t feel related enough, I felt I wanted to go deeper – tying movement and art together more literally. At the time, I conceptualised it as ‘how could one paint with the total freedom of body – unlimited to planes of motion’ and so with this intention, I sought out capturing motion data and finding a system to translate this into artworks.
Ephimera: What tools were used in the creation of this project?
Christian: For the data capture we used inertial measurement units. For the development of the visuals and animation we used 3D, After Effects, Cinema 4D & Touch Designer – this was achieved in collaboration with Pep Palau, a collaborator on this project.
Ephimera: How was your experience working with Tom Weksler?
Christian: It was a very powerful experience. Tom is an incredible mover, he has dedicated many years into his craft, not only on a physical level but also in terms of the philosophies he brings into it. He is influenced by Zen teachings as well as other sources that make his practice holistic and mindfully-driven. This really transmits through his movement and inspires me greatly. Furthermore, it was also interesting to see him adapt to the technology itself – working within certain contact points – that wouldn’t impair the body sensors, yet still finding the same quality of movement. More so it was a real thrill communicating with him during the creation; upon the choice of music, the moods he was transmitting and the way in which we could use this to explore and go deeper into the imagination and this journey of movement.
Ephimera: “The Essence of Movement” seems to hold memory of the dancer in that moment of time. What is it about capturing this life that is so important to you?
Christian: To me movement is a way we can language emotion, passion and the sensation of being alive – so in capturing this, I feel that we can in essence – bring this intangible content towards materialisation. I guess the importance to me comes in the ongoing question of – how to do we vivify motion, this undercurrent of life – and reveal a new architecture and beauty in the process of it