Installation and media art


This interactive installation invites to explore 3D reconstructions of urban and natural spaces that are transformed according to live environmental data collected on the Internet. By their body's motion and position in front of the projection, visitors interact with a representation which's appearance and level of recognition are determined by information about local meteorological and astronomical phenomena. In conjunction with its visualization, the data transmitted by remote environmental sensors is sonified.

The distant locations shown in the installation were created by the use of photo-based 3D scanning and geomatic data. These 3D point clouds provide XYZ coordinates that are used in a changing virtual space which ressembles a dynamic particle system. The display and positions of the points and of the mesh that connects them are determined by the following environmental information as a mean to evoke or simulate them :

Local time : Point size and brightness (relative to sunrise and sunset).
Temperature : Point color.
Cloudiness : Point saturation and brightness.
Wind : Point displacement reflecting speed and direction.
Visibility : Intensity of a depth of field effect and transparency.
Humidity : Depth of field focus distance and point sharpness.
Precipitation : Lines are drawn from the sky to the ground and points are destabilized.
Lunar phase : Brightness of the lines.

The quadraphonic sound synthesis process uses this data and atmospheric pressure to generate an interactive sonic environment. The virtual camera's displacement in the 3D space is influenced by the public's movements and positions and by information on the location's environmental conditions.

In a time where the reality of physical spaces hybridizes with the digital world, the installation uses fluctuating data provided by the network to translate the evolution of phenomena affecting the locations shown at the moment of the public's experience. By connecting physical and digital spaces, Dérive inquires the phenomenology of mixed realities and probes into the changing nature of our perception and representation of the world.


Software development : Édouard Lanctôt-Benoit.



Thanks to the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles for their support, Édouard Lanctôt-Benoit, World Weather Online and Yahoo! Weather for the weather data feeds, the U.S. Geological Survey for the SRTM datasets, OpenStreetMap and 3D CAD Browse contributors, developers of openFrameworks, Blender, SuperCollider, Microsoft Photosynth, Bundler (Noah Snavely, Steven M. Seitz & Richard Szeliski) and photogrammetry toolkits.

Thanks to Géographies variables, Labomédia, Sporobole, AADN, Galerie Verticale, BIAN, Bouillants, Art Rock, ISEA2012 (Albuquerque Museum and 516 ARTS), Avatar, Recto-Verso, LabMIS, Perte de Signal and Nancy Lombart for their involvement in the project's realisation and presentation.


Nébuleuses urbaines protoype at La Maison Bourgogne during la Fête des 01 (Orléans, France), May 14-23 2010.

Outdoor interactive screen near the Marché de la Gare during Espace [im] média (Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada) September 6-18 2011.

Expériences numériques Festival at Salle des Rancy (Lyon, France), November 11-12 2011.

Solo exhibition at Galerie Verticale (Laval, Quebec, Canada), March 24 to April 28 2012.

Bouillants #4 // Frontières (Vern-sur-Seiche, France), April 22nd to May 20th 2012.

Art Rock festival (Saint-Brieuc, France), May 22nd to 28th 2012.

ISEA2012 Albuquerque : Machine Wilderness, Albuquerque Museum of Art and History (Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA), September 19th 2012 to January 6th 2013.

Mois Multi 14, Avatar (Quebec city, Quebec, Canada), February 14th to 28th 2013.

Électrochoc 9, Halle Grenette (Bourgoin-Jallieu, France), April 3rd to 12th 2014.


Dérive, text by Nathalie Bachand. Avatar's 40 000 ans Electronic Publication, January 2013.

Machine Wilderness: Re-envisionning Art, Technology and Nature. Review by Diane Armitage. THE Magazine (Santa Fe, NM), December 2012.

Interview with Larry Heard. Temporary Art Review.

KASA TV coverage of ISEA2012 at the Albuquerque Museum.

ISEA2012 Machine Wilderness. The Institute of Creative Technologies, September 2012.

ISEA2012 Albuquerque : Machine Wilderness. Catalog published by Radius Books in collaboration with 516 Arts, The Albuquerque Museum of Art, The University of New Mexico, and The Fund at the Albuquerque Community Foundation.

Dérive Paints Location Portraits With Point Clouds Of Light. Article by Abdullah Saeed on, May 2012.

The Variable City - François Quévillon's Dérive. Article by Greg J. Smith, Creative Applications Network, May 2012.

Bouillants #4 : ouverture des frontières. Alter1fo, April 2012.

Trois expos solos amusantes à la Verticale. Courrier Laval, April 2012.

Le pouvoir du regard. Revue Sabord. Mars 2012 - no 91, Surveillance.. Article by Annie Hudon Laroche about Chronoscopies and Dérive.

Dérive modélise des villes en 3D., December 2011.

Un festival sherbrookois multimédias. La Tribune, September 2011.