A look back in images on Focus Immersive Experiences (XR) by the Institut français10 min
From 7 to 12 June 2022, the Institut français organised a FOCUS - a programme of professional meetings - devoted to immersive experiences (virtual and augmented realities, immersive experiences, etc.). Twenty-six foreign professionals (opinion leaders in their fields: festival directors and programmers, managers and curators of cultural spaces, producers, etc.) from 24 different countries were invited to meet French stakeholders in the sector as part of an exploratory tour of immersive experiences. The programme, composed of professional meetings and tours, was designed in partnership with NewImages in particular, the festival of digital creation and virtual worlds in Paris. Institutional partners, venues, professional networks, and key stakeholders in the ecosystem were also involved in this programme.
Éternelle Notre-Dame, an immersive experience in virtual reality
Following the fire that ravaged the cathedral, the Orange Group in collaboration with Amaclio, a production and distribution company, and Emissive, a studio that specialises in creating immersive experiences, produced an unprecedented experience – a virtual reality tour – of the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris, “Éternelle Notre-Dame”.
Fitted with an immersive device, visitors explored Notre-Dame de Paris throughout the centuries in a fully digital recreation. They experienced a real emotional journey while exploring the landmark’s secrets, all while (re)discovering the historical events and people that marked its history. The Focus delegation tested this innovative device.
The NewImages festival
The NewImages Festival is an unmissable event to learn about French and international immersive creation. Long-term partners, NewImages and the Institut français teamed up once again for this programme. The delegation of 26 foreign professionals was invited to explore the French XR ecosystem throughout the festival. Over 150 professional meetings were organised as part of the XR Market and the delegation discovered the immersive experiences showcased in the official competition.
French immersive experiences were explored by meeting the people who created them. Almost 90 French professionals in the sector presented their projects to the Focus XR delegation. Whether at the Forum de l’image during the NewImages Festival, at the Centquatre, or at the Institut français, all of the professional meetings were rich in exchanges of knowledge and experiences. These meetings, initiated as part of Focus, enabled the development of long-term collaborations between foreign guests and French professionals.
Tour of the Centquatre and presentation of 104Factory, the business incubator at the Centquatre-Paris
Located in the 19th arrondissement in Paris, the CENTQUATRE-PARIS is a space for artistic residencies, production, and distribution for audiences and artists from all over the world. This unusual living space blends all disciplines and also hosts start-ups in the 104factory business incubator, a real territory for experimenting between culture and innovation. The Focus delegation of foreign professionals explored the cultural institution as well as getting to know emerging stakeholders and specialists in immersive experiences: ENTER.black, Onyo, Magique and TADA!mmersive, Novaya.
Grand Palais Immersif
The Grand Palais Immersif, a subsidiary of the Réunion des Musées Nationaux-Grand Palais specialising in immersive exhibitions, drove the creation of a new immersive space at the Opéra Bastille, in partnership with the Opéra National de Paris. This new space was previewed to the foreign professionals invited by the Institut français as part of Focus. On this impressive site, the delegation of professionals also had the opportunity to discover the works of the Palais Augmenté, the festival dedicated to augmented reality at the Grand Palais Augmenté and Fisheye, presented at the Grand Palais Ephémère in mid-June 2022.
Presentation of IFdigital, the site for French digital design
As part of the day organised at the Institut français, a number of devices were showcased to the members of the Focus delegation. Among them, IFdigital, the site for French digital design (digital art, immersive experience, video games, innovative books, mediation and cultural education, web creation). It aims to encourage the international dissemination of these particularly dynamic and innovative sectors in the French cultural and creative industries.
Presentation of the HACNUM and PXN networks
Two significant French professional networks for digital creation were also showcased to the delegation’s professionals:
- HACNUM, the National Network for Hybrid Arts and Digital Cultures, aims to support transformation in the cultural sector and to act as a catalyst in the regions to bring culture into the paradigm of the digital transition.
- PXN, the association of independent new media producers, works to digitally transform France’s cultural and creative industries.
Tour of the Gaîté Lyrique
The last day of the Focus programme began with a guided tour of the Gaîté Lyrique, a multidisciplinary cultural space that highlights post-internet cultures in the presence of its curators. This was an opportunity to explore the Auraée xhibition by Sabrina Ratté, a Canadian artist living between Montréal and Marseille. This exhibition is presented as a large ensemble of immersive architectures and landscapes inhabited by a moving visual material, questioning the physical separation between two realities. The delegation also immersed itself in the Shiny Gold installation by Nelly Ben Hayoun.
Notre-Dame de Paris, augmented exhibition at the Collège des Bernardins
The exploration of French experiences and institutions continued at the Collège des Bernardins, a place of history and culture that is currently offering a tour retracing the 850-year history of the cathedral. Notre-Dame de Paris, l’Exposition Augmentée (Notre-Dame de Paris, the Augmented Exhibition) looks both at the history of the cathedral and at the current restoration work. Designed by the French start-up Histovery, the exhibition is in collaboration with the public institution in charge of conserving and restoring the cathedral.
"Revivre (Alive Again), extinct animals" in augmented reality at the Natural History Museum
Focus culminated at the Natural History Museum with the presentation of Revivre, a project co-produced by the Museum and SAOLA Studio. This augmented reality experience invites us to discover extinct animal species and also enlightens us as to the species currently suffering from anthropic pressures. On exiting this immersion blending reality and history, the visitor has a different take on the species showcased in the Grande Galerie de l’Évolution.