Échelles Célestes: explore the Universe through a poetic, artistic and scientific experience

16 February – 25 April 2024
Location :
Forum des Arts et de la Culture

Place Alcalá de Henares , 33401 Talence

Changed on 01/03/2024
Did you know? The Échelles Célestes project was born in 2019 from the collaboration between artist and scenographer Cécile Léna and researcher Martin Hachet from the Inria Potioc research team. This work has given rise to an exhibition at the Forum des Arts et de la Culture in Talence from February 16 to April 25, 2024. This is an opportunity to take a look back at the genesis of this adventure, which invites you to explore the immensity of the Universe thanks to an interactive and immersive miniature planetarium and its cabinet of curiosities, just a stone's throw from the Inria Centre at the University of Bordeaux!
Echelles Ceslestes
Forum des Arts et de la Culture

A collaboration at the crossroads of the arts and digital science and technology

It was their respective taste for experimentation and their professional curiosity that led Martin Hachet and Cécile Léna to collaborate together for the first time in 2017 as part of a call for projects from the FACTS Festival (the arts, sciences and society festival at the University of Bordeaux). The scenographer has already created the work KM 2.0, in which viewers are invited to travel in a scale 1 train compartment and discover a miniature, immersive show. The pair and their respective teams decided to develop the experience with a new joint production, the Table de Shangaï: the train ticket given to the spectator becomes interactive.

The success of this first attempt inspired them to work together again. They imagined and designed the beginnings of the Échelles Célestes exhibition, a miniature planetarium combining a "hand-crafted sky" with a virtual universe in which the Potioc* team's research into human-computer interaction and mixed reality added a new dimension.

The prototype, presented to the public at the 2019 FACTS Festival, convinced the artist to pursue the project. She then enlisted the support and scientific advice of Pascal Bordé, from the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Bordeaux (LAB, UMR CNRS and University of Bordeaux), and Camille Monmège-Geneste, cultural mediator, to reinforce the interactive and educational aspects of the project with a cabinet of curiosities and a mediation trail, multiplying the possibilities for auditory and visual immersion.

Échelles Célestes, after being exhibited at the Espace des Sciences in Rennes in 2023, will now move to the Forum des Arts et de la Culture in Talence in 2024.

Echelles Ceslestes
© Cécile Léna

An immersive experience that blends the real and the virtual, the physical and the digital

Stargazing has always captivated Cécile Léna, daughter of astrophysicist Pierre Léna, with whom she co-wrote the book Ciel ! Mon étoile  (Éditions Elytis). But how to give the public the chance to contemplate the immensity of the sky with the naked eye, to discover the celestial vault and the stories behind the stars (black hole, Andromeda, a comet, the Crab Nebula, Proxima Centaury)? This is where the collaboration between artist and scientist takes on its full meaning: interweaving the real and the virtual, choosing the miniature and the digital to explore the infinity of space. This is also at the heart of Martin Hachet's thinking: "It was important for me, at the time with the Potioc research team and still today with the Bivwac research team, to propose projects that have a link with the physical world, to create bridges between the digital and the physical, between the virtual and the real. That's what I wanted to do with this work."

Visit the Forum des Arts et de la Culture to wander through the cabinet of curiosities, handle the miniature telescope and immerse yourself in celestial bodies.

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