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Agoria and Musée d'Orsay

The Living World Meets the Digital at Agoria’s “Le Code d’Orsay”

February 13-March 10, guests had the chance to experience a fresh fusion of art, technology, and science with multi-disciplinary Agoria in the storied Musée d’Orsay.

The Musée d’Orsay embarked on a groundbreaking journey into the digital sphere this month with “Le Code d’Orsay,” showcasing works by visionary French artist Agoria

Agoria (aka Sébastien Devaud) is a pioneer in “biological generative art” or the practice of utilizing algorithms, data, and AI to design meaningful work. The artist collaborates with scientists to design pieces that marry music and Metaverse, art and blockchain. A prominent figure in the Web3 revolution, Agoria aims to subvert the iconic museum’s international presence through an exploration of artistic innovation—honoring the Musée’s impressionist collections by asking what comes next. 

Agoria and Musée d'Orsay

Courtesy of Agoria and Musée d’Orsay.

Agoria Brings the Digital World to Musée d’Orsay

“The Musée d’Orsay loves to set its treasures from the age of modernity from the second half of the 19th century and the start of the 20th century in communication with modern-day innovations. By re-imagining our collections through contemporary knowledge and tools, Agoria’s creations breathe new life into our works and open our eyes to new possibilities, and will I hope lead new audiences to visit us and our most loyal visitors to rediscover our museum,” said Christophe Leribault, President of the Musée d’Orsay and the Musée de l’Orangerie.

“Le Code d’Orsay,” blurred the bounds between the material and the virtual, offering two captivating digital works developed on the Tezos blockchain. In “Σ Lumina,” visitors were invited to participate in a poetic immersive experience, allowing their very breath to shape the digital artwork. Guests could even take home a digital souvenir of their participation thanks to a process called “live minting.”

Agoria and Musée d'Orsay

Courtesy of Agoria and Musée d’Orsay.

“I try to connect the physical with the digital, the living with the cryptic,” —Agoria

Meanwhile, the second piece, “Interpretation by Saccharomyces cerevisiae of The Painter’s Studio by Gustave Courbet” offered a unique perspective on memory and transmission, infusing biological techniques into the reinvention of an archival piece of art. 

“I try to connect the physical with the digital, the living with the cryptic. Although digital and physical are often in opposition, I try to reverse this relationship and reconcile them. With Sigma Lumina and with the biological reading of Courbet, my aim is to make the digital more sensitive and create a link between tangible and intangible, to mirror the invisible.I call this practice Biological Generative Art.I am both delighted and honored that my work resonates in a venue as iconic as the Musée d’Orsay,” said Agoria.

The exhibition marked the museum’s second blockchain project following last year’s launch of digital Van Gogh souvenirs. Scientific collaborators for this exhibit include Nicolas Desprat, Jean-Baptiste Boulé, Manuel Théry, and Julien Mozziconacci. 

Agoria and Musée d'Orsay

Courtesy of Agoria and Musée d’Orsay.

“After the successful launch of the first digital souvenir during the Van Gogh exhibition, this second blockchain project from the Musée d’Orsay continues to bring web3 further into the heart of the museum. Artistic innovation is at the core of the Tezos Art Community an {Σ LUMINA} by Agoria and Johan Lescure is a testament to the boundless possibilities when art and technology come together. In this work, technology facilitates dialogues between 19th and 21st-century art, sparks new interactions between art and museum visitors and provides new ownership and collecting experiences,” said Sunil Singhvi, Head of Arts & Culture at Trilitech, Adoption hub for the Tezos Blockchain.

Le Code d’Orsay

“Le Code d’Orsay” included a DJ set by the artist and a discussion about the evolving relationship between art and science. Agoria’s exhibit is made possible in collaboration with the Tezos Foundation alongside technical partners Nomadic Labs and Trilitech. 

The exhibition was curated by Christophe Leribault, President of the Musée d’Orsay and the Musée de l’Orangerie, and Virginie Donzeaud, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Musée d’Orsay and the Musée de l’Orangerie.

Agoria and Musée d'Orsay

Courtesy of Agoria and Musée d’Orsay.

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Kelly Wearstler

THE WINTER EXPERIENCE ISSUE
2023

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Whitewall's Winter 2024 cover story spotlights the artist just as his time with the L’Académie des Beaux-Arts Residency was wrapping up.
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