For 2016 Nuit Blanche, Miguel Chevalier has realized a generative virtual-reality artwork projected inside the 16th century Saint-Eustache Church in Paris. Surprising imaginary sky charts are created in real time. The visitor discovers 35 different colored networks of light one after the other, that spread out in the form of sinuous webs. These large meshes take form and then lose their shape, changing following the movements of visitors in the central nave, creating ever renewed, diversified universes.

Voûtes Célestes highlights the site’s architecture, the volumes of the columns and ribbed vaults come to life before our eyes. Their colorful gridworks create surprising trompe l’oeil effects. These suspended universes accentuate one’s impression of the monument’s loftiness and lightness.

Visitors are invited to stroll around, to sit in the pews, and to lift up their eyes toward the heavens. These digital constellations of pixels immerse visitors in an atmosphere bathed in light while opening unto infinity. The installation releases radiant energy into this space of plenitude. Amplified by Saint Eustache’s organ music, the installation induces a spiritual and contemplative feeling of elevation. Light, color and movement create a poetics of matter and elaborate a new aesthetics of virtuality.

voutes-celestes-2016-miguel-chevalier-paris-2 voutes-celestes-2016-miguel-chevalier-paris-3 voutes-celestes-2016-miguel-chevalier-paris-4 voutes-celestes-2016-miguel-chevalier-paris-5 voutes-celestes-2016-miguel-chevalier-paris-6 voutes-celestes-2016-miguel-chevalier-paris-7 voutes-celestes-2016-miguel-chevalier-paris-8 voutes-celestes-2016-miguel-chevalier-paris-9 voutes-celestes-2016-miguel-chevalier-paris-10 voutes-celestes-2016-miguel-chevalier-paris-11 voutes-celestes-2016-miguel-chevalier-paris-12 voutes-celestes-2016-miguel-chevalier-paris-13 voutes-celestes-2016-miguel-chevalier-paris-14 voutes-celestes-2016-miguel-chevalier-paris-15 voutes-celestes-2016-miguel-chevalier-paris-16 voutes-celestes-2016-miguel-chevalier-paris-17

all images courtesy of Miguel Chevalier | video by Claude Mossessian