Passion Paris director also releases an accompanying statement and interview to explain his creative process of capturing the surreal piece
Mikki dedicated his life to the service of humankind. Now that there are no more humans, he has no purpose. And his battery has just run out...
This video, a collaboration between musician Antoine Kogut and multi-dimensional graphic artist Ugo Bienvenu, showcases the last moments of a humanoid robot in a lush vegetation setting.
Antoine has left Ugo free to interpret his brand new song 'Sphere of Existence' and Ugo has used his innate talent to conceive powerful and pared-down images created entirely in CGI.
Director Ugo Bienvenu's Statement
Sphere of Existence is an ode to the sensations and reveries they arouse. The song is also inspired by a certain philosophy. It establishes three main stages: an aesthetic state of enjoyment (and degradation), an ethical state of self-awareness and a state of mystical awakening. Meaning three concentric circles that form the spheres of existence. But this sphere of existence can also be understood as a revolution (or a turn on oneself) or as another way to name our blue planet, Earth. By mixing synthesizers (and their self-oscillations), brass and vocals (more melodic) I tried to reconcile repetition and improvisation, arouse the unpredictability of mechanics and solace in the organic.
I met Ugo (whose work I have always admired) a few years ago. Our friendship and our common passion for science fiction and cinema (he introduced me to Godfrey Reggio’s 'Koyaanisqatsi', is one of my favourite movies and it fed our collaborations. For the film' Sphere of Existence', having complete confidence in his vision, I left him free to interpret the song as he pleased. The participation of Mehdi, another very good friend of ours, in this project allowed us to reach an amazing level of technicality.
The images and music, were a result of our common views on life and art, making this work a testimony of a forgotten future but also a celebration of desire, love, and life.
Q> Who is this robot whose last moments we follow in the “Sphere Of Existence” music video?
Ugo Bienvenu> I have always been preoccupied by the end, my own end, that of others, the end of the world. What will be left of mankind once humans have disappeared? Ever since I’ve been creating comic strips and directing films, I’ve played with this topic and twisted it in all directions. And the answer is obvious: representation. That is what led me to this career. Representation is what will remain of humanity, even after it’s gone.
That’s the story of Mikki: the robot represents continuity. It is man’s creation, his brainchild for humanity’s very survival. But what will happen when the robot disappears too? What will be left then, when the robot’s last footprints are erased? That is the real end of mankind: when the last signs of civilisation will have faded simply because energy has run out, foolishly. Because all endings are foolish.
Q> Why did you choose CG for this film, what was your intention?
UB> As always, I was looking for a pure, pared down production. I wanted to use all that CG has to offer with just enough artistic direction, very little special effects, and keep it as pure and as true to the initial concept as possible.
I wanted the visual expression to be raw, just like in my 2D films. I trusted Mehdi’s talent and know-how, his ideas, and we were able to transform my visual intentions stemming from 2D, and apply them to a 3D format, staying true to its qualities but adding subtleties specific to this tool. The trust we have in each other, our friendship, is what kept this project unadulterated, beautifully crafted, heightened even. The challenge was to maintain that raw, natural representation. That’s where Antoine, Mehdi and I had a real meeting of the minds, as content creators and makers: a raw, concentrated and brutal honesty for the creations we try to bring to life.
Q> How was it to work together on this project?
UB> The three of us are friends and this project is the fruit of that friendship and a common desire to grow and show what we are made of. Antoine Kogut did the music for my end-of-studies film; he’s an old friend of mine. And at the time, I told him, “one day, I’ll direct a video for you!”. That finally happened 8 years later, at a crucial time for him, me and Mehdi, who is also a long-time friend. By then, we had all matured and grown through various professional experiences, some of which we had in common (collaborations during the Arles photo festival; with Antoine for Edwin, and Mehdi worked on a music video for Jabberwocky). We all work within the lines of our respective disciplines, but again with a very clear idea of what our work can be and become.It also happens that, by one of life’s many coincidences, Mehdi already knew Antoine who would come and record in his sound studio. So with as many connections between us, working together is a pretty natural process! So natural in fact, that we don’t want to stop there. With this project was born the idea of starting a new creative duo with Mehdi, to make CG films together: #BIENVENUE À LA VIE. So stay tuned...