A Journey That Wasn't, 2005


Pierre Huyghe

© Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domage @ Adagp 

"A Journey That Wasn't" is a film made in two stages for the same project, which started at the beginning of 2005.

“Assuming that an area of non-knowledge must exist geographically and that it is possible to find a gap in the stories that cover a place," Pierre Huyghe embarked on an expedition to Antarctica, where melting ice caps were revealing new islands and accelerating changes in wildlife. He sailed aboard Jean-Louis Etienne’s old ship, Tara, with a team of artists and scientists. Landing on an island, Huyghe converted its topography into sound and light data which was later made into a musical score. The vibrations representing the land mass created a language that was broadcast to the colony of penguins that live on the island, which included a rare albino. Following this fascinating voyage into the vastness of the polar circle, an event was staged at the Central Park ice rink in New York. A symphony orchestra performed the piece, accompanied by lighting effects that momentarily illuminated the movements of a robotic penguin in the darkness, as well as other effects that simulated rain, wind and fog. Huyghe’s science-fiction-like documentary film, A Journey That Wasn’t, takes spectators on a journey through images and sound.

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