Poets 16:9

Video anthology of poetry in Western Switzerland

For wider audiences, poetry anthologies remain one of the most effective ways of exploring poetic works. The short format, its flow guided by a theme or form, along with a selection made by an informed editor, encourage the less intimidating discovery of the poetry practices of certain eras or cultures. In printed book form, anthologies have allowed the spread of various traditions in the West; these, however, were generally reduced to silent reading, which often deprived them of their oral, gestural, or ritual particularities. Today though, it would be difficult to draw up an anthology without taking performance – and even slam – into account. The video anthology of poetry in Western Switzerland lends itself particularly well to exploring current practices and can also serve as an archive of poets reading their works.

Technique

This anthology is based on sixteen videos produced by Nadejda Magnenat (filming and editing) and Antonio Rodriguez (concept and selection) in January of 2018 at the University of Lausanne (UNIL). Its limitation? The naked voice, in a basic setting, free of any pretence. Among the selection’s thirty authors, each poet had seven minutes’ time. The entire anthology is published for free on the poesieromande.ch website. 

Adapted for an exhibition, this series of videos aimed to show that large-format presentation could serve as an ideal medium. Our goal was to arrive at a final product with a power and quality that rivalled beautiful double-page printing. Given the anthology’s geographical unity, the screens evoke a Swiss flag  –  a cross on a red background – which media design truly unfurls. Indeed, it was important that the screen style correspond to that of ordinary screens today, generally in 16:9 format. Like beautiful paper, the range of NEC freeboard screens is generally used for advertisements in trade shows for the luxury, watchmaking, or perfume industries.

The Laboratory for Experimental Museology’s Patrick Donaldson produced the media design, directed by EPFL Professor, Sarah Kenderdine. The team had already worked together on the archives of the Montreux Jazz Festival. Particular attention was given to the videos’ interaction and distribution. It would have been possible to add the texts (and their translation) under the poets' videos, or even to zoom in on elements of the video itself.

Background

Over the course of a few days in January 2018, Nadejda Magnenat and Antonio Rodriguez shot just under thirty videos with established poets in Western Switzerland. This anthology stimulated great interest in the press  – notably in Le Temps  newspaper – which not only featured the launch but served as a springboard for the first two videos. Indeed, Narcisse’s split-screen, which enabled the embodiment of the lead voice and backing vocals in “Toi, tu te tais”, garnered more than 10,000 views in a single weekend. First posted on the poesieromande.ch website from March 2018 to April 2019, these videos have been viewed over 35,000 times to date. While not claiming that each click corresponds to a full viewing, the sheer extent of reach via the internet certainly reflects modern digital relationships. Now, video anthology has found a multimedia structure that best carries it and allows collective public viewing, with impressive effects and sharing options.

The Poetry Network

Cultural mapping of a territory

Rather than selecting a poet (national or regional) to represent a territory, we begin with a thorough observation of the current poetic network and the different players within it. This project is part of a "literary geography" which is particularly important today. In order to have reliable data, the project based itself on an annual poetry festival – the “Printemps de la poésie” – which has been held throughout Western Switzerland since 2016. While the term "cartography" has indeed become fashionable, it is often used metaphorically. Inherent in its methods, however, is extensive reconnaissance work within the terrain to accurately represent activity within a given territory in terms quantitative and qualitative data. The poetic mapping of a territory therefore became an original project carried out at the University of Lausanne which used data collected since 2011. Besides the events held during one of these springtime festivals, the dynamic map first shows the scope of the past four festivals, thus highlighting the project’s strength and – especially – the  key places and players in poetry in Western Switzerland.

Technique

The University of Lausanne collected the statistics used for this mapping from the “Printemps de la poésie” festival. The criteria used to create such a highly precise network map were based on events held, and identified: location, organisation, institutional partnerships, and institution type. A number of quantitative criteria were then used, including audience and budget. Lastly, qualitative criteria were used to weight the whole, namely: host institution scope (from local to international, including regional and national), media recognition, and guest prestige. Professor François Bavaud (Faculty of Letters) oversaw the “statistics” part of the project. 

A team from the Faculty of Geosciences at the University of Lausanne carried out the second part of the project. Professor Christian Kaiser was then able to create an interactive network map from the statistics collected.

Media design – which provides the general public with such a map – was led by Patrick A. Donaldson for the Laboratory for Experimental Museology directed by professor Sarah Kenderdine at EPFL. This team had already  collaborated on the "Super-vision" project (2019) based on the 8,000 theses defended at the EPFL over 50 years. At the time, the project incorporated an interactive browser based on thematic and lexical connections.

Here, it's the whole world

The transnational heritage of Western Switzerland

This film presents a reworked form of the launching of the book Le Poème et le territoire (Noir sur blanc, 2019) based on a launch party hosted by the University of Lausanne on June 3, 2019. This collective work presented Western Switzerland’s considerable poetic heritage. Byron, Wordsworth, Hugo, Lamartine, Rilke, Hardy, Borges are among the great figures of world literature who, during their European meanderings, sought – and found – the sublime by contemplating the lakes, mountains, castles, vineyards, and vast plains of Switzerland. It also features many major poets born in this region including Cendrars and Jaccottet of course, but also Gustave Roud, Anne Perrier, Alexandre Voisard, Corinna Bille, and the singer Jean Villard Gilles. To these authors from here and elsewhere, Switzerland owes an image built on the enthusiasm of the first travellers and then the tourists who – following in the poets’ footsteps – came in pilgrimage seeking to immerse themselves in the same landscapes. A true "lyrical valley", Western Switzerland brings together a rare aesthetic density and establishes itself as a veritable poetic world heritage.

Technique

This project is not actually based on technological innovations per se, but on how to make a transnational heritage known in a relationship between a book and a multimedia film. The director sets about suggesting a path through the pages by highlighting the reading’s graphic components, while the voice-over narrates in a way that supports the documents’ presentation. The film is based on the slideshow developed for this occasion.

Recombinatory Poetry Wheel

Installation

The “Recombinatory Poetry Wheel” is a reiteration of the earlier installation “Infinite Line” (2014). It proposes a new mode of spectatorship in the performance of poetry by giving visitors the opportunity to recombine the poetic ensemble of the preeminent Singaporean poet Edwin Thumboo. Having made video recordings of Thumboo reciting twenty-seven of his finest poems written throughout his entire career, the artwork’s interactive design allows visitors to random access this database and intermix the individual lines of Thumboo’s poetry to create a spontaneous rereading of his texts. The “Infinite Line” was presented in an immersive 360-degree projection theatre where visitors engaged with the surrounding twenty-seven life-sized video recitals performed by Edwin Thumboo. The “Recombinatory Poetry Wheel” is both an aesthetic and technical reformulation of that installation whereby, instead of the cylindrical projection screen, it features a 200cm diameter circular wall-projected image that shows a clock-like arrangement of the twenty-seven figures of the Edwin Thumboo. The visitor uses a circular knob to rotate a white dot around the edge of the circle to choose one of the figures and thereby trigger his reading of a particular poem, which will continue until another figure is chosen. By moving the marker from one figure to another, the viewer interrupts the ongoing reading and jump-cuts to a different poem and reading. The resulting indeterminate assembly of Thumboo’s poetry readings, also displayed as printed texts across the centre of the screen, link and coalesce to form new poetic entities out of Thumboo’s oeuvre.

The “Infinite Line/Recombinatory Poetry Wheel” create interactive performances that re-mediate the bodily and literary repertoire of Edwin Thumboo. Its most immediate analogic antecedent (and inspiration) is Raymond Queneau’s magnificent “Cent mille milliards de poèmes” (1961)—a poem printed in such a way that every line can be separated and rearranged. The artwork is also allied to the old parlour game of ‘consequences’, the Surrealist ‘cadavre exquis’ and the literary cut-ups of William Burroughs and Brion Gyson. Today’s digital systems have enabled media art to create new forms of such modular, navigable and emergent narratives by means of interactively accessible audiovisual databases. While the recombinatory poetics of the “Recombinatory Poetry Wheel” offer an unlimited unfolding of multi-temporal narrative conjunctions, this de- and reconstruction maintains a strongly underlying unity of thought and form in the identity of Thumboo’s authorship. It provides the viewer the opportunity to explore a manifold of possible amalgamations of his twenty-seven poems, thereby creating personal ‘meta-poems’ with emergent vectors of meaning.

Background

2014        CityU 30th Anniversary Cultural Festival, Gallery 360, Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
2014        Jeffrey Shaw and Hu Jieming Twofold Exhibition, Chronus Art Center, Shanghai, China
2017        The Art of Immersion, ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany
2018        Ramon Llull and the Ars Combinatoria, ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany
2018        Thinking Machines, ArtLab, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland
2019        Passé Augmenté x Présent Augmenté, Arts Center of Enghien-les-Bains, Enghien-les-Bains, France

Assisted Poetic Creation

Installation

At a time when Artificial Intelligence is part of many aspects of everyday life, how can it help us in today's textual creative processes? Poetry is often perceived as the source of pure inspiration before a blank page. This, however,  it is forgetting all too quickly the degree to which it comes with traditions well known to poets – dictionaries of synonyms or rhymes, learning how to write. Assisted creation, in fact, is no issue in photography, as seen in the digital support available on smartphones to edit a photo’s brightness, sharpness, or other features. In the same way, Artificial Intelligence or parametric fonts (developed in recent years) and self-generated layout can support the creative process.

But is Artificial Intelligence actually becoming creative? Instead of taking the often illusory, sometimes frightening, option of replacing man with still woefully inadequate text generators, we chose to intervene in the different layers of poetic creative writing. Man and machine collaborate in a constant dynamic: while the machine suggests, Man always chooses. Machine never replaces Man, but rather, helps him make a choice. This workshop invites you to explore the path of poetry with new tools, as if in an assembly line leading to a vast scroll that collects and assembles the exhibition’s poetic energies.


The stages of
assisted creation

In order to help the Artificial Intelligence generate a first draft, three elements are left to the visitor's choice: the poem’s form (quatrains, haiku, free verse), theme (love, death, war ...), and emotions. A text is generated. To eliminate any syntactic errors or spelling weaknesses from the text generators (which work by statistical reconciliation), the visitor can correct the text and improve it after this first step. Using the cursors, the visitor gives the text emotional colour: more joyful or melancholic?

To finish the poem, the calligraphic tradition must of course be considered. This is done through finding suitable font styles. The font and layout used can strengthen the text’s meaning and give a visual sense of ​​the content the words convey; this last stage of the creative process and final rendition focus on these specific elements. The creator can modify the machine-generated font to a certain extent to accentuate its severe appearance or, on the contrary, to facilitate its legibility. From there, the poem continues along its path. It is either printed during the exhibition on a huge sheet, can be individually searched online, or can photographed on a smartphone and made shareable at will.

Technique

The system relies on artificial intelligence to learn the probabilities of sequences of words, using an artificial neural network with multiple layers and temporal recursion.  The weights of the connections between artificial neurons are optimized during a training phase, by observing actual sequences of characters from about 6000 poems.  After training, the system is able to estimate the probability of any sequence of characters and words, but also to create new sequences with high probabilities, which are displayed as lines and stanzas of poetry.  The form parameters are constraints on the lengths of the sequences; themes and emotions result from the combination of different AI models, trained separately on poems annotated as representative of specific themes or emotions; and rhymes are adjusted by searching among the most probable words those with matching endings.

Poetrify

Installation

Just as with music, digital anthologies should ideally adapt to reader preferences. But how can we best capture tastes without resorting to long questionnaires or to painstaking observations over the course of the readings? The exploration of new forms of anthology aims to improve and better understand how wider audiences connect with poetic heritage. The principles behind this installation are similar to musical platforms such as Spotify or Apple Music that allow users to create "radios" reflecting their musical tastes. Rather than following a selection already composed by a poetry expert, this anthology enables interaction and encourages discovery. The project is developed from 1,500 tagged texts that are then entered into the database. The poem “playlists”, or sequences, are adapted to the tastes of the visitor who can then immediately share these by reading them aloud to someone else. Here, readers also become creators of logical suites, thereby discovering 19th century poetry. The anthology is in French and English and obeys two distinct principles: the first according to similarities in qualities (tagging), and the second through Artificial Intelligence. To further enhance joint discovery, the anthology allows for reading aloud as well as the recognition of the criteria determining the poem sequences.

Technique

This first presentation of the bilingual anthology, “Poetrify”, uses 1,003 texts in French and 500 poems in English – that is, over 20,000 verses, couplets, or lines of prose. The first phase of the project consisted in verifying the edition of the texts, ensuring their quality and tagging them (“tags”) according to the author’s gender, poetic form, themes and the various criteria selected. The same texts were used for the database that fed the Artificial Intelligence in assisted creation.

In this digital anthology, we give everyone the ability to make their way through a vast collection of poems. The path forward is ‘flagged’ based on the preferences identified as users advance through the anthology. To build such an anthology, the machine offers a range of clear preferences that demarcate the first part of the route. Then, a less obvious similarity – using artificial neural networks to represent words – makes it possible to continue the journey based on the initial logic with, nevertheless, the promise of surprises and happy discoveries along the way with which to fill the visitor’s personal anthology.

Responsive Europa

Beyond the artist's book

This installation was presented at the Porto Design Biennial 2019 using two video projectors. Following several discussions about the exhibition, Demian Conrad asked Antonio Rodriguez for a poetic text to repeat the “responsive typography” experiment set up for the “Artists & Robots” exhibition. Demian Conrad had worked on the Metafont algorithm since 2016. The third version of this project enables the exploration of generative fonts based on words and poetic derivations of words.

The poem develops based on the word “Europe”, in connection with Antonio Rodriguez’s poetic trilogy. The text plays on the derivations of, and split in, the word “Eu-rope”. Written during the Brexit process, the text, in English, explores (not without irony) the difficult union of European peoples. It plays on the principles of the division and union of the “continent”, of what should – given the word – “hold together”, but no longer does. This project unfolds like a 2019 version of a “Hymn to Joy”.

While the project had been developed for two projectors, LG’s 42-inch double-sided screen allows the anthem to be shown across two screens, making it possible to have parallel montages, in silent and opposite chorus, and to recall the principles of the artist's book through double-sided effects.

I am a chorus

Augmented performance

This installation fulfils one of poetry’s dreams: that of the poet becoming his own chorus. The simultaneous performance on five screens is an attempt to intensify the  internal voices that are responding to one another. Charles Pennequin, one of France’s finest performers, reads two texts that give the experience poetic meaning. He answers himself, introduces various voices: the text becomes clearly polyphonic, while remaining focused on a performer whose image is multiplied.

Technique

Filmed and recorded five times, Charles Pennequin's performance is then simultaneously rebroadcast on five screens arranged in a semicircle, offering the visitor an enhanced poetic performance: the poet’s main voice is accompanied by a chorus of four different voices, each performed by Charles Pennequin. The sound is also spatialised to offer an ideal synchronisation of the auditory and visual location. Indeed, the spectator intuitively and instantly feels the sound’s exact geographical origin – even before the eyes turn towards its source. Our auditory system is extremely efficient for this. Equipped with a specific graphics card and dedicated video software, a  single PC simultaneously broadcasts the 5 high-definition videos as well as the 5 sound channels to the 5 speakers, the latter of which are located as closely as possible to the 5 screens showing the actor.

The Constellation Sonnet

Dark mirror – augmented reality

This experience enables the exploration of an exhibition within the exhibition itself. It offers the opportunity to do a poetic tour of an exhibition through Augmented Reality, like a “sonnet” of the constellation in fourteen steps. Resulting from the refreshing union between the Maison d'Ailleurs in Yverdon-les-Bains and the “Printemps de la poésie”, the “Dark Mirror” visit – done between late 2017 and early 2018 – is a project aiming, thanks to cutting-edge technology, to bring  together the work of several contemporary artists and an anthology of French 19th century poems. This at-first-glance disturbing encounter between these two worlds creates a surprising dialogue as well as poignant or ironic effects. Rather than embarking on a QR code tour, we took into account the opportunities Augmented Reality offers, not only to create a tour of the exhibition but also a journey through the Je suis ton père! catalogue.

Technique

This project is based on a poetic multimedia relationship between works in an exhibition and their concordant texts. The path is laid out in a gamified way over three levels of initiation to poetry, namely the:  Apprentice (Padawan; 4 works); Knight (Jedi; 7 works), and Master (14 works). Built in fourteen stages, the path is like a sonnet in constellation through the exhibition. Stanislas Romanovski’s music ‘resemanticises’ pieces from the second half of the 19th century, which can sometimes echo the music in the Star Wars saga. In this way, Berlioz's Dies Irae is reflected in the Darth Vader theme. From a technical perspective, the project is based on the Blippar app, which is downloadable for free on tablet or smartphone on iOS or Android. The app works through image recognition (like a more sophisticated QR code) on different mediums (printed or in 3D) and activates the multimedia animation. This work was carried out by Artgraphic Cavin SA. It applies to both the exhibition and the catalogue.

Présentation
du projet initial

Par Marc Atallah, Directeur de la Maison d’Ailleurs à Yverdon-les-Bains, curateur de l’exposition «Je suis ton père!»

«Dark Mirror» est le titre donné à une exposition inédite, une exposition qui combine œuvres d’art contemporaines et réalité augmentée ou, pour être plus précis, travaux artistiques inspirés de ce mythe fictionnel moderne qu’est Star Wars et poèmes du XIXe siècle. L’origine de ce projet s’enracine dans l’exposition «Je suis ton père!», inaugurée à la Maison d’Ailleurs à la fin de l’année 2017, qui présentait les œuvres de treize artistes contemporains – principalement des photographes et des plasticiens – ayant toutes pour point commun de dialoguer, d’une manière spécifique, avec les personnages et les vaisseaux de la célèbre franchise hollywoodienne amorcée par George Lucas en 1977, et poursuivie depuis quelques années par Disney. Travis Durden hybride les sculptures du Louvre avec différents protagonistes de la saga science-fictionnelle; le studio de designers Superlife imagine un mobilier évoquant Darth Vader, Chewbacca ou R2-D2; Anthony Knapik-Bridenne donne une profondeur ancestrale aux casques des soldats de l’Empire; quant à Cédric Delsaux, un des artistes phares de l’exposition, il traite les personnages de Star Wars comme des métaphores signifiantes dévoilant la dimension obscure de notre monde. 

Ces quelques exemples – mais il aurait été possible de citer tous ceux présentés dans «Je suis ton père!» – évoquent un mouvement de l’art contemporain, souvent décrié en raison de ses références à la culture populaire, faisant la part belle à la re-sémantisation: les œuvres exposées permettaient en effet, grâce aux échos qu’elles tissent entre la fiction et notre société, d’offrir une nouvelle signification à des motifs ou des situations pourvus d’une signification autre. Lorsque Gabriel Dishaw sculpte les matériaux usagés, d’une part, il rejoint le mode de fabrication de la première trilogie de Star Wars – elle-même construite de toutes pièces – et, d’autre part, réinvestit le regard que nous jetons sur nos déchets en exhibant leur beauté; et quand Kyle Hagey incruste des Stormtroopers à vélo dans un paysage alpin bucolique, il vient pointer la mythification de nos paysages réels par la rencontre avec un autre mythe, fictionnel cette fois-ci. Il en va de même pour Benoît Lapray qui, en reconstruisant le quartier post-industriel lyonnais de La Confluence en usant de briques LEGO® Star Wars, signifie, dans un contraste violent entre la bonhommie des personnages de plastique et ce qu’ils symbolisent dans ce contexte, la nature préfabriquée et anonyme de nos habitats contemporains. Pour le dire autrement, l’exposition «Je suis ton père!» cherchait, non à parler de la saga imaginée par George Lucas, mais à montrer comment la dimension mythique de celle-ci – le titre de l’exposition était à ce titre révélateur, puisque, à peine prononcé, il était d’abord interprété comme une référence explicite à Star Wars et non comme une reconnaissance d’une quelconque parentalité – pouvait, dès l’instant où les personnages caractéristiques de cette galaxie lointaine interféraient avec notre quotidien, révéler les processus de mythification de ce même quotidien.

C’est dans un tel contexte qu’est né «Dark Mirror», une exposition issue d’une exposition plus vaste, néanmoins bâtie sur un phénomène similaire de re-sémantisation. Les premières discussions avec Melina Marchetti, puis avec Antonio Rodriguez, puis avec toute l’équipe du Printemps de la poésie, ont amené la Maison d’Ailleurs à solliciter ses partenaires pour imaginer un parcours non seulement «poétique», mais également «technologique». Vu que les œuvres exposées réinvestissaient le réel de significations inédites, il était envisageable de faire dialoguer ces mêmes œuvres avec des poèmes du XIXe siècle: ces derniers seraient entendus différemment une fois mis en regard de ces premières; les premières seraient ressenties autrement une fois mises en relation avec ces derniers. Victor Hugo, Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud, Stéphane Mallarmé et d’autres se voyaient donc soudainement entrer en relation avec Darth Vader, les Stormtroopers, Kylo Ren ou Leia déguisée en Bounty Hunter. Grâce aux compétences des collaborateurs de Artgraphic Cavin SA, une société d’imprimerie sise à Grandson, la technologie de réalité augmentée a permis de rendre ce dialogue non seulement possible, mais également immersif: en scannant les œuvres, les poèmes se mettaient à défiler et à être récités, permettant aux visiteurs de l’exposition de s’arrêter, de contempler et de se laisser emporter par les sons poétiques ouvrant de nouvelles dimensions de sens dans la réception des œuvres d’art exposées dans le musée de la science-fiction.

Vous l’aurez compris, «Dark Mirror», ce n’est pas juste une exposition associant, avec une habileté technologique indéniable, travail artistique et poésie; c’est une expérience esthétique plongeant au cœur de notre postmodernité, afin d’en révéler les alliances étonnantes et les échos signifiants – et ce, en vue de caresser une nouvelle forme de Beauté.

Marc Atallah
Directeur de la Maison d’Ailleurs
MER à la Section de français de l’UNIL

Cristalloésie

Installation

This installation offers the opportunity to visualise and influence the musicality, energy, and phonic substance of our poetic performances. The two installations (Cristalloésie and Poetry Hero, which follows) offer instant feedback of the rhythms and attitudes breathed into speech, through visual instantiation of vocal movements. An interdisciplinary project bringing artists and researchers together, it illustrates the innovative synergies Digital Humanities enable.

Background

Cristalloésie highlights the importance of staging the voice and its inherent poetry. The vocal performances’ range, timbre, and prosody feed crystals that grow, spread, and adopt significant colour. We are reminded that – far from being limited to its phonic substance – the sound poetry of the 1950s attaches great importance to both the visual dimension and the stage alike. Indeed, the poem finds its completion on the latter, at the very moment it is performed. As of 1963, in fact, pioneer of sound poetry in France, Bernard Heidsieck, would in fact ultimately prefer to speak of “Poésie action” (‘action poetry’):

“Ce que je cherche toujours, c'est d'offrir la possibilité à l'auditeur/spectateur de trouver un point de focalisation et de fixation visuelle. [...] Je propose toujours un minimum d'action pour que le texte se présente comme une chose vivante et immédiate et prenne une texture quasiment physique. Il ne s'agit donc pas de lecture à proprement parler, mais de donner à voir le texte entendu.” — Bernard Heidsieck

Cristalloésie pays tribute to the trend of action poetry by perpetuating it through a contemporary device, inviting participants to mobilise the statistical minerality of the descriptors in vocal performance so as to shape generative works of art.

Poetry Hero

Installation

Complementing the Cristalloésie installation dedicated to pure creativity, Poetry Hero subjects vocal performance to strict rules and demands faultlessness. Using the codes from Sing Along – flagship U.S. musical variety show in the early 1960s – this installation invites visitors to let themselves be guided by an actor’s voice and copy their poetic phrasing by imitating the rhythm, intonation, and intensity of verses taken from major texts in French or English-speaking poetic heritage. In addition to the familiar “bouncing ball” seen in the early days of karaoke, the installation provides intense feedback that takes the forceful and gratifying form of 1980s video arcade games. Dramatic lighting effects, combo sequences and the frantic drive to score invite ‘players’ to “try again” to beat their own scores and climb to the top of the ‘Hall of Fame’.

Technique

Fully coded in JavaScript and related technologies, the installation is based on the development – over the course of 2019 – of  analytical tools capable of studying the range of possibilities in digital voice processing. This simultaneous sound analysis device (which uses   p5.sound) is then linked up – in both Cristalloésie and Poetry Hero – with a  3D drawing library (THREE.js), as well as a video game development library (Phaser.js). The two installations illustrate the lightness as much as the power of modern web technologies, both in terms of automatic signal processing and real-time data visualisation. They also demonstrate the potential of these combinations in terms of generative art and the creation of digital tracks capable of significantly documenting poetic museum performances.

Orpheus' Journey

Virtual reality

This virtual reality film uses the 360° technique. For the time being, few poetic or scientific attempts exist on this medium. The film’s originality stems from an immersion into Rilke's Sonnets to Orpheus, without resolutely seeking the playful activity or the didactic relationship. The film reveals two Rilke manuscripts in a new format. Instead of standing, forehead pressed up against a display window, the spectator finds himself facing a massive scale which immediately illustrates the poem’s sheer breadth.  Multimedia techniques aim to bring the spectator before these archives, while telling the main facts surrounding their writing. The film departs from Morges and ‘flies’ the viewer to Raron in the Canton of Valais. Despite being filmed (not modelled), the whole offers a “derealisation” which establishes a symbolically built ‘in-between’. The visual and sound effects notably seek to increase the relaxing forms of consciousness – and, especially, bring the brain into an alpha wave state – enabling it to better feel the immersive and symbolic phenomena. This project also contributes to promoting the Swiss territory as a place dotted with poetic high places.

Technique

Using Unity software, a 360° film was created in two stages. A Go Pro 5K camera was used to capture images inside the tower and of the forecourt of Raron Chapel in front of Rilke's tomb. Vincent de Vevey handled this filming using a fixed camera, as well as the processing of the manuscript insets and inclusions. For the drone part (above Morges and Raron), the team from Scenic View – specialised in this kind of filming – was hired.  Editing was first carried out on the film, with Pierre-André Aebischer then providing the ambisonic immersion, which enables the spatialization of the sounds. Knowing that ambisonic binaural sounds actively participate in the feeling of immersion, the Oculus Quest headsets are each equipped with external audio headphones to offer sound insulation and quality. The integration of the audio-visual elements is done in Unity and distributed as an app in “Oculus Player”.