Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF) has conceptualised and crafted ‘The Quest’, a unique and permanent kinetic light sculpture in France, where a light-wielding robotic arm is encased by a mesmerising structure of connected, glass-like shards, some with engravings hidden deep within at nano-scale. As the robotic arm moves the light source, seemingly random natural light patterns dance around its darkened surroundings to create an absorbing experience.
MLF have been working in the liminal space between art, technology and the natural world, the studio creates specific visual languages that challenge our perceptions and inform lived experiences.
“The Quest” is a jigsaw puzzle of many parts; a collaboration bringing together leading experts from a wide range of disciplines for the first time. To design the laser-sharp caustic imagery, MLF worked with experts in reverse-engineered caustics and specialists in optics. Programmers, robotics experts and character animators gave the roving arm its persuasively lifelike movement. Architects and parametric designers followed a procedural approach to create a structure of suitable simplicity and elegance. The result is a unique artwork which blurs the lines between the artificial and the organic: an organism, made manifest through light, which lives inside a complex and precision-engineered environment.
The project is a collaboration with Hennessy. The light beam’s interactions and interventions with its surroundings, its search for form, were inspired by Yann Fillioux, Hennessy’s 7th generation ‘master blender’. From many thousands of bottles of eaux-de-vie, the master blender selects a tiny batch of exemplars to craft both distinctive new blends and the consistent hallmark Cognac on which the Hennessy name is founded. His tireless and unerringly precise selection finds a futuristic and metaphorical representation in Marshmallow Laser Feast’s “The Quest”.
Marshmallow Laser Feast’s creative director, Ersin Han Ersin, comments: “To imbue the robot with characteristics that echo Hennessy’s master-blending process, we had to orchestrate a complex coming together of multiple disciplines. We were able to suggest a persistence of vision and create a continuous illusion of projections through a jigsaw puzzle of robotic experts, structural engineers, parametric designers, architects, electrical engineers, spatial sound designers and craftsmen for the shards.”
The installation is currently open in Cognac, France and awareness is being driven through a branded video and photographic campaign that features the installation in all its glorious action.