For the past ten years, Mathieu Pradat has been developing narratives that unfold in sensory environments in augmented reality.
Updated on 03/08/2021
Having trained as an architect at the Malaquais school, Mathieu Pradat wrote and directed many films on cities and architecture, with appearances and awards at festivals, before turning to new media. In 2010, he co-founded La Prairie with Marie Eve Roques, both an architecture studio and a film production company. After a short fiction film, Le Chien (2015), which recounted the effects of a car accident on the life of a family, the director delivered Proxima in 2017, his first work in VR. This first encounter with this interactive medium was followed by many other projects.
The Roaming, shown at Venice VR as part of the 2018 Venice Film Festival, is presented as an interactive play that puts the viewer in the shoes of two children searching for their mother in a Mississippi swamp. More recently, the triptych Rencontres takes users on a journey across a vast expanse of water populated by mysterious, elusive figures.
Mathieu Pradat's interactive works multiply processes to create immersive, free roaming experiences, where the spectator advances according to their desires in mixed environments. While the VR headset allows for the modelling of three-dimensional spaces, the use of real actors and real sets allows for the creation of multifaceted sensory environments.
In The Roaming, presented more than three hundred times at the Venice Film Festival, the sensation of walking through a swamp plunged into darkness is achieved by the use of a soggy floor and a flesh-and-blood actor, who calls out to the spectator and invites them to sing along. Mathieu Pradat remains convinced that virtual reality and augmented reality are media that authors and independent creators must appropriate.
Mathieu Pradat's latest project, Rencontres, was developed in partnership with the Institut Français and is the result of a creative residency at the Alliance Française de Quito (Ecuador) in 2019. It's a three-part virtual reality headset experience in which the viewer wanders barefoot on a thin layer of water, encountering a crowd of humanoids, birds, and machines. These elements position and behaviour change according to the different positions taken by the previous users. Their reactions are recorded and constantly modify the work, which thus becomes truly polyphonic.
In constant evolution, Rencontres is currently the subject of a second creative residency at the Grenier à sel, as part of the Avignon Festival, and is also about to be shown in Taiwan, as part of the prestigious XR residency.
Graduated from the Malaquais school of architecture.
Creation of La Prairie production and architecture studio.
Le Chien, short fiction film.
The Roaming, selected at the Venice Film Festival.
Rencontres, at the Alliance Française de Quito (Ecuador)
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