Digital creation

Mélanie Courtinat, artiste and interactive designer

The undeniable immersive power of VR has seduced me: I've always wanted to create worlds and tell stories, and this tool served as the perfect gateway.

Melanie Courtinat explores the narrative and sensory possibilities offered by tools used in the video game industry, such as virtual reality. Her work is featured on IFdigital, the website of the French Institute dedicated to French digital creation. 

Published on 14/05/2024

5 min

Award-winning artist and interactive designer, accustomed to collaborations with prestigious brands, Melanie Courtinat primarily works around video games. Inspired by a universe that has fascinated her since childhood, she creates immersive experiences with a dark and romantic tone, as seen in All Unsaved Progress Will Be Lost. This piece, selected at the Venice Biennale in 2022, takes us into the ruins of a city made of concrete and mist, encountering a woman facing a mysterious threat. While Melanie Courtinat's work is regularly exhibited in internationally renowned institutions such as Le Grand Palais, or Le Cube Garges, she has also collaborated with LVMH, Cartier, Chanel, Jean-Paul Gaultier, and the video game publisher Ubisoft. In parallel, she teaches video game theory at ECAL Lausanne and regularly conducts conferences and workshops in an academic context.

The works of Melanie Courtinat are primarily objects that one can experience, worlds in which one can immerse oneself, often with the help of a headset. "The notion of interaction," she explains, "is at the heart of my work." One of her early works, I never promised you a garden, immersed viewers in a moving garden, questioning the passivity of the audience when faced with interactive experiences in a museum context. One recurring figure in her work is the non-player character, this entity with which one interacts without necessarily dealing with a real person. This theme was notably present in a series of photos created in collaboration with the artist Salomé Chatriot, titled I’m Not Tough Enough to be Online. Melanie Courtinat also regularly collaborates with musicians, such as Agar Agar, for whom she created the video Trouble, or through the project Ten Lands, which transforms an album by the artist Yatoni into a true interactive spatial experience. 

Melanie Courtinat's works will be exhibited in numerous locations in 2024: at the Cube Garges, at the Pully Art Museum (Switzerland), at the NOVA_XX 2024 Biennale, and at the Wallonia-Brussels Center in Paris. She will notably showcase The Siren, a piece that allows us to embody a heroine clad in armor wandering on a beach at dusk, searching for luminescent shells. She will also lead conferences and workshops for the Killscreen gallery in Los Angeles and at the Forward Festival in Berlin. Originating a game jam taking place in Geneva titled "Résidence Evil," where multidisciplinary artists gather to experiment around the survival-horror genre, Melanie Courtinat is currently a member of the jury for the Video Game Support Fund (FAJV) within the CNC. 

  • 2017


    I never promised you a garden.

  • 2022


    All Unsaved Progress Will Be Lost.

  • 2022


    She participates in the Digital Playground programme of the Villa Albertine.

  • 2024


    The Siren.

L'institut français, LAB