The Poème électronique was a unique experience, originating from the request made by Philips to Le Corbusier to design the company pavilion at the Brussels 1958 World Fair. The whole project was initiated and directed by Le Corbusier, who also selected the images for the audiovisual show. Together with this visual show, there was the organized sound, composed by Edgar Varèse and delivered through 350 loudspeakers distributed in “sound routes”, and the stunning surfaces of the building (hyperbolic paraboloids), designed by Iannis Xenakis. The result was the very first multimedia project to create a complete sound and vision experience using a totally immersive environment, since the space of the Pavilion hosted the audio and the visual materials as integral parts of the architectural design. Unfortunately, this visionary synthesis was ahead of its time, and the concept was never repeated or even attempted again: the Pavilion, the incredible number of visitors (2 million) notwithstanding, was demolished a few months after its inauguration, at the end of the Exposition. The destruction of the Pavilion turns the Poème électronique into a lost masterpiece and represents a serious blow to the 20th century culture. We were left with fragments of the various components, such as photographs and drafts of the architecture, the projected video from the Philips archives and the stereo mixes of Varèse’s and Xenakis’ music. All these materials are publicly accessible, and technological advances in virtual reality, computer graphics and binaural audio make a rebirth of the Poème électronique possible. The goal of the Virtual Electronic Poem (VEP) project, co-funded by the European Union through the Culture 2000 programme, has been the realization of a virtual reality (VR) environment, capable of reproducing the global experience of the Poème électronique through a philologically accurate reconstruction of the original installation and a technologically innovative VR implementation, which is effective both in the visual and the auditory domain (using stereoscopic vision and binaural/multichannel audio). Starting from the available historical sources (the control score of the visual show with handwritten annotations by Le Corbusier at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, the initial control score available from the Fondation Le Corbusier in Paris, a fragment of the control instructions for audio routing on the 350 loudspeakers published in the Revue Technique Philips, the Philips Company photographic archives, albums and catalogues of the ’58 Expo, original audio tapes at the The Hague Conservatorium), it has been possible to recreate the audiovisual show in all its components (the electronic music by Varèse and the interlude by Xenakis, the film by Le Corbusier and Agostini, light ambiances designed by Le Corbusier and Kalff, light effects – tritrous, sun, moon, stars, lightning, clouds) and to stage it inside a computer graphics reconstruction of the Philips Pavilion. The VR installation gives the user a renowned fruition of the Poème électronique, a unique work of the 20th century culture.

VEP - Virtual Electronic Poem

LOMBARDO, Vincenzo;NUNNARI, Fabrizio;VALLE, ANDREA;
2010

Abstract

The Poème électronique was a unique experience, originating from the request made by Philips to Le Corbusier to design the company pavilion at the Brussels 1958 World Fair. The whole project was initiated and directed by Le Corbusier, who also selected the images for the audiovisual show. Together with this visual show, there was the organized sound, composed by Edgar Varèse and delivered through 350 loudspeakers distributed in “sound routes”, and the stunning surfaces of the building (hyperbolic paraboloids), designed by Iannis Xenakis. The result was the very first multimedia project to create a complete sound and vision experience using a totally immersive environment, since the space of the Pavilion hosted the audio and the visual materials as integral parts of the architectural design. Unfortunately, this visionary synthesis was ahead of its time, and the concept was never repeated or even attempted again: the Pavilion, the incredible number of visitors (2 million) notwithstanding, was demolished a few months after its inauguration, at the end of the Exposition. The destruction of the Pavilion turns the Poème électronique into a lost masterpiece and represents a serious blow to the 20th century culture. We were left with fragments of the various components, such as photographs and drafts of the architecture, the projected video from the Philips archives and the stereo mixes of Varèse’s and Xenakis’ music. All these materials are publicly accessible, and technological advances in virtual reality, computer graphics and binaural audio make a rebirth of the Poème électronique possible. The goal of the Virtual Electronic Poem (VEP) project, co-funded by the European Union through the Culture 2000 programme, has been the realization of a virtual reality (VR) environment, capable of reproducing the global experience of the Poème électronique through a philologically accurate reconstruction of the original installation and a technologically innovative VR implementation, which is effective both in the visual and the auditory domain (using stereoscopic vision and binaural/multichannel audio). Starting from the available historical sources (the control score of the visual show with handwritten annotations by Le Corbusier at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, the initial control score available from the Fondation Le Corbusier in Paris, a fragment of the control instructions for audio routing on the 350 loudspeakers published in the Revue Technique Philips, the Philips Company photographic archives, albums and catalogues of the ’58 Expo, original audio tapes at the The Hague Conservatorium), it has been possible to recreate the audiovisual show in all its components (the electronic music by Varèse and the interlude by Xenakis, the film by Le Corbusier and Agostini, light ambiances designed by Le Corbusier and Kalff, light effects – tritrous, sun, moon, stars, lightning, clouds) and to stage it inside a computer graphics reconstruction of the Philips Pavilion. The VR installation gives the user a renowned fruition of the Poème électronique, a unique work of the 20th century culture.
http://edu.vrmmp.it/vep/
Poème Électronique; Le Corbusier; Edgar Varese; Iannis Xenakis; Bruxelles; Virtual Reality and Multi Media Park; Culture 2000; Philips Pavilion; VEP; Virtual Electronic Poem; Vincenzo Lombardo
V. Lombardo; F. Nunnari; A. Valle; H. Vogel; A. Arghinenti; F. Giordana; K. Tazelaar; R. Dobson; J. Fitch; S. Benser; S. Weinzierl; P. Armao; W. Borczyk; S. Niedbała; W. Pytlik.; J. Padget; R. Starosolski
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/25267
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