Marion Tampon-Lajarriette’s Planetary Scale is a series of five video pieces each composed of a polyhedron floating in an indeterminate space that appear like soapy semi-transparent forms slowly rotating in perpetuity. The collection including Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn is inspired by the concept of the ‘Harmony of the Spheres’ – the idea, which originated with Pythagorean cosmology and was explored further in the Renaissance – that intrinsic patterns connect mathematics, music and astrology and that the all universe can be reduced to a perfect harmony of numbers. Kepler using this theory invented a famous, even if inoperative, solar system model based on the five embedded platonic polyhedrons
The suspended mutating shapes transition from recognisable forms to indecipherable shimmering layers, playing with the viewer’s sense of perspective. At times they envelop the frame, or disappear from view before straight edges momentarily emerge. The works feature a subtle piano soundtrack with varying lengths of pauses between notes that is inspired by Kepler’s planetary scale, which assigns a melody to each of the five planets known to science at the time, according to their speed of rotation and orbit.
Tampon-Lajarriette follows this historical exploration of the connections between planetary orbits, musical scales, and geometric forms, using here the materiality and illusions of the digital image. Planetary Scale is closely related to the project titled The Harmonists, an installation presented as five stacked cube monitors in a solo exhibition Soleil Noirs (2015) at Les Brasseurs centre for contemporary art in Liège, BE.