Retour Aux Sources - Mouawad Laurier

Permanent Audiovisual Installation, Maison Ruinart, Reims 2019

The artistic project Retour aux sources is the brainchild of a pair of environmental artists known as Mouawad Laurier, and marks the beginning of the 10-year countdown to the300th anniversary of Maison Ruinart on 1 September 2029.

The work takes the form of a root planted in an ancient crayère chalk cellar. The root listens to what is happening within its natural surroundings above, and immerses the audience in a visual and sound experience 30 metres below ground. Deep inside the earth, where there used to be an ocean, the audience is confronted with the physical and temporal character of humanity.

The root, endowed with sensitive intelligence, listens to the natural elements involved in the champagne production process through a device that uses complex arti cial intelligence. It reminds us that human beings and nature are intrinsically connected.

- Mouawad Laurier

A bespoke installation created for Champagne brand Ruinart. A 3D simulation was first developed using Unity. A photorealistic VR application using Unreal was then created to augment the experience. Software that communicates with the physical motors - including the adaptation of Ledotron custom software - was implemented to control the motors that animate the lights. Historic and realtime data related to weather conditions and the production process of champagne was collected and used as an input to create generative and meaningful content for the installation.

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Production: Ruinart
Curated by Benoit Baume
Original Concept, Design, Music Composition & Animation: Maya Mouawad, Cyril Laurier
Management: Maya Benainous, Stephanie Huerre
Software Development: Maya Benainous, Joan Sandoval
AI: Cyril Laurier
Light System Engineering: Sakma
Motors & Kinetic Technology: Mecaoctet