Mathilde Lavenne (FR)

Computer Animation


The clean black-and-white visual environment contrasts with the unseen, spoken expression of memories, revealed with the digital distortion connected with the Mexican culture and history.” (Jury Statement)

TROPICS: Mathilde Lavenne (FR), Credit: Ars Electronica / Robert Bauernhansl

Video Installation

French artist Mathilde Lavenne’s animated film is a visually impressive search for traces of a long-lost civilization. The setting is the town of Jicaltepec on the Filobobos river in the Mexican province of Veracruz, where French farmers and their families settled in the 19th century and began to cultivate the land according to a European model.

Furthermore TROPICS tells about the last traces of the pre-Columbian past and shows us a lesser-known side of modern-day Jicaltepec. To do this, she used a FARO scanner, a technology usually employed by architects to generate three-dimensional images of buildings. From the scanner’s point clouds, she created a three-dimensional image of the landscape in which multiple strata always overlay each other.

Via its distinctive aesthetic, TROPICS imparts the feeling of seeing the structures of things that usually remain unseen. The film invites viewers to discover not only an unfamiliar landscape but also the foreignness of the world — the one that we inhabit today, and the one that used to be long ago.