Historic Cathedral Comes To Life With Mesmerizing Virtual Reality Installation

Paris's Saint Eustache Church just got a dazzling makeover.

Dreamers and travelers wandering the streets of Paris for the annual Nuit Blanche art festival would be well-advised to make their way to the historic Saint Eustache Church. Once inside the church’s hallowed walls, lie down, let your mind go, and watch as the ceiling is engulfed by swirling, electric lights.

The installation, called Voûtes Célestes or “Celestial Vaults,” is a work by artist Miguel Chevalier, who programmed 35 vibrant, colored networks that glow in dancing succession on the cathedral’s ceiling.

The color patterns are accompanied by musical improvisations played by Baptiste-Florian Marle-Ouvrard, the church’s resident organist.

On his website, Chevalier describes the installation as a network of “sinuous webs” produced in realtime to highlight the site’s architecture. He writes:

Visitors are invited to stroll around, to sit in the pews, and to lift up their eyes toward the heavens. These digital constellations of pixels immerse visitors in an atmosphere bathed in light while opening unto infinity. The installation releases radiant energy into this space of plenitude. Amplified by Saint Eustache’s organ music, the installation induces a spiritual and contemplative feeling of elevation. Light, color and movement create a poetics of matter and elaborate a new aesthetics of virtuality.

Watch a video of the installation in action below:



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