Retour aux Sources by Mouawad Laurier

Maison Ruinart at Reims(France),  September 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.”

- Maya Mouawad and Cyril Laurier

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In the early stages of the project, I developed a 3D simulation of the installation using Unity and later, a photorealistic VR application using Unreal.  After, I developed a software to communicate with the motors and I adapted Ledotron custom software to control them. Lastly, I collected and linked real-time and historic data related with the weather conditions and the production process of the champagne. This data acts as an input to create generative and meaningful content for the installation.

Production: Ruinart
Curated by Benoit Baume
Original concept, design, music composition and animation: Maya Mouawad and Cyril Laurier
Management: Maya Benainous and Stephanie Huerre
Software development: Maya Benainous and Joan Sandoval
AI: Cyril Laurier
Light system engineering: Sakma
Motors and kinetic technology: Mecaoctet