Augmented Window

An interactive window on a landscape as a curatorial protocol
Designed and directed by Thierry Fournier

Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2011
Fort Lagarde, Prats-de-Mollo, 2012
Friche La Belle de Mai / Panorama, Marseille, 2013

Artists and authors : Benjamin Laurent Aman, Ivan Argote, Christelle Bakhache and Clément Feger (social science researchers), David Beytelmann (political historian and philosopher), Marie-Julie Bourgeois, Christine Breton (heritage conservator), Pierre Carniaux (filmmaker/director), Grégory Chatonsky, Jean Cristofol (philosopher), Céline Flécheux (philosopher and art historian), Juliette Fontaine, Thierry Fournier, Simon Hitziger, Marie Husson, Tomek Jarolim, François Parra, Jean-François Robardet, Marcos Serrano and Antoine Schmitt.

- Conception and curating: Thierry Fournier
- Preparation of curating with Jean-François Robardet
- Engineering: Jean-Baptiste Droulers
- Programming (installation): Mathieu Chamagne
- Programming (IOS and Android): Olivier Guillerminet, Jonathan Tanant, Henry Bernard
- Programming (streaming): Thomas Lucas
- Construction : Grégoire Chombard
- Interface research team 2011: Christelle Bakhache, Grégory Diguet, Jean-Baptiste Droulers, Clément Feger, Thierry Fournier, Tomek Jarolim, Jean-François Robardet, Marcos Serrano.
- Research and development: Pandore Production
- Distribution: Bipolar / Grégory Diguet
- Executive production for tablet editions and 2014 exhibitions: Illusion & Macadam / Mathieu Argaud


- Languedoc-Roussillon Region (Culture et TIC program laureate), Pandore Production, Ile de France Region – (Futur en Seine festival 2011), in partnership with Medialab Sciences Po, Paris
- Zinc, Marseille Provence 2013, Friche La Belle de Mai, Le Silo - City of Marseille, with the support of Höfn and Hôtel du Nord
- Prototype co-developed in 2011 within the framework of the EnsadLab research laboratory (École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs / Paris), Diip program, Sensible Surfaces axis. Artists and studients-researchers: Marie-Julie Bourgeois, Tomek Jarolim, Marcos Serrano.
- Executive production: Pandore Production

An interactive window on a landscape as a collective exhibition protocol

A specific vantage point on a landscape is filmed continuously by a camera. Several artists and authors are invited to create works that take this landscape as their point of departure: videos, interactive works, drawings, recordings, interviews… These contributions are laid over the camera’s footage, and transmitted live on a large tactile screen, which is set up vertically. To discover the works, viewers browse this "window" into the image’s spatial depth.

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Augmented window, Marseille, June 2013

The view on this landscape is both the exhibition’s motive and its medium; here, the term “augmented” qualifies the coexistence of the works around a single common perspective. The project’s curatorial approach, therefore, resides simultaneously in its working protocol with a particular site, a group of artists and a specific apparatus, and in the installation that constitutes the very exhibition. Augmented window is a travelling series: each landscape leads to new invitations and creations. Three exhibitions have been organized so far: one at the Centre Pompidou (Paris) in 2011; another in Prats-de-Mollo (in the Eastern Pyrenees department) in 2012; and a third one at the Friche la Belle de Mai / Panorama (Marseille) in 2013. Two new exhibitions are planned in 2014.

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The three Augmented window exhibition frames: Paris 2011, Prats 2012, Marseille 2013


Artists and authors

The purpose of the project has always been to simultaneously invite authors (philosophers, critics, researchers) and artists. Since 2011, 20 persons have created works in the context of this project : Benjamin Laurent Aman, Ivan Argote, Christelle Bakhache and Clément Feger (social science researchers), David Beytelmann (political historian and philosopher), Marie-Julie Bourgeois, Christine Breton (heritage conservator), Pierre Carniaux (filmmaker/director), Grégory Chatonsky, Jean Cristofol (philosopher), Céline Flécheux (philosopher and art historian), Juliette Fontaine, Thierry Fournier, Simon Hitziger, Marie Husson, Tomek Jarolim, François Parra, Jean-François Robardet, Marcos Serrano and Antoine Schmitt.

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Augmented window at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2011
While they present very different practices (digital works, drawing, photography, video…), they all address stakes woven between the individual, space and community. The co-presence of their approaches occurs early on in the residences: during the few days that they spend together on the site, they are able to discover and familiarize themselves with the location, to get to know other invited participants, the project’s artistic and technical teams, and its local contact persons: Augmented window is not initially about approaching the landscape – and along with it, the dominance of the gaze that the very term evokes – but to physically “experience” the territory and its situations.

Each participant then offers not only a reading and an interpretation of this location through the window’s image, by also his or her own position and the distance he or she will choose to place between the viewer, the screen, the landscape and the territory itself. The diversity of the artists’ and authors’ practices concretely inform these choices: some works operate exclusively at the surface, while others do so in an active relationship with the viewer’s gestures or position; others still challenge the very support (screen-camera) or its positions relative to the space, and others, finally, take a more documentary approach to the location.


Research within EnsadLab Diip / Sensible surfaces axis: exhibition and interaction

The Augmented window project gave birth to a collaboration in 2011 with Ensadlab, with 3 students-researchers (Marie-Julie Bourgeois, Tomek Jarolim and Marcos Serrano), invited further to participate to the exhibitions as artists.

The research led into Sensible Surfaces was dedicated to the whole conception and interaction design of the project. It was developed in relationship with a larger research group, directed by Thierry Fournier, involving the Sciences Po Medialab, several authors, artists and developpers. What sort of apparatus could simultaneously offer an exchange platform for artists working on the same landscape, with the perspective of an exhibition on a single view? Is a geolocalization system relevant according to a final flat representation? What sort of interactions can be proposed to the visitors, for a navigation between artworks on a landscape? Which type of navigation could be proposed, apart from the codes imposed by Google, but adressed to a non-informed audience?

The workshop took place since October 2010 until May 2011. It was based on a collaboration between the 3 EnsadLab students-researchers, the main project project programmer (Mathieu Chamagne), Thierry Fournier and exterior consultants. The first AUgmented window exhibition at the Centre Pompidou ein June 2011 was organized within the frame of the Futur en Seine Festival. It gave the possibility of testing all these hypothesis, in a situation of intense audience freuentation (700 visitors per day). It was accompanied and documented by 4 assistants, specially hired for the project.

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The research group at EnsadLab in 2011


Interactive edition for tablets

In December of 2013, two of these exhibitions are edited for the iPad, thus becoming accessible remotely, with their respective landscape appearing in streaming. In the installation version (which the tablet version does not substitute), a tension sets in between the real landscape and the screen, which operates in different degrees according to the locations : in Paris, the screen was set up on the very viewing spot ; at Prats-de-Mollo, the camera and the screen were physically distant, but shared the same immediate environment; in Marseille, the screen is actually disassociated from the camera, and offers a view from a distance, reminiscent of the webcam.

The tablet version highlights this tension, as the image is broadcast in real time; it opens and refreshes the image, in a situation of mobility. The landscape that constitutes the works’ basis may be seen from a very remote location, but it is seen live direct; the works are situated according to a spatial reference. The tablet introduces a temporal dimension to the relationship of representation that exists between camera and screen, territory and works, viewer and landscape. It offers, from a distance, a permanent update of their stakes.


Flatland, digital catalogue on iPad

Flatland is a digital catalogue that is devoted to the Augmented window project. It stems from a dialogue and a close collaboration between artist and curator Thierry Fournier, art critic and journalist J. Emil Sennewald, and developer Stanislas Schoirfer. From its beginnings, the catalogue was conceived for tablets. This choice is the result not only of the Augmented window project’s very logic and medium, but also of a willingness to explore how the tablet as a substrate contributes to the critical approach: beyond the mere aspect of mobility, how do the practices it generates create new relationships of meaning.

Together, the authors defined the project’s editorial direction, its interactive design and its visual identity, which uses Bartok, a new font created by Sarah Kremer, throughout the publication. Flatland accompanies Pandore Production’s edition of Augmented window for the iPad, as a free-standing application. This double publication enables the user to experience a permanent dialogue, on a single interface, between the catalogue and the experience of the works. Flatland, therefore, focuses more on the project’s critical and transversal aspects.

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Flatland and Augmented window apps covers