November 16th, 2023 | by Mathieu Gayet

"There is now an obligation to develop a hybrid approach to the exploitation of innovative cultural experiences" - Christophe Salomon, Antoine Roland (NUMIX LAB)

After 3 editions (since 2021), the NUMIX LAB are a unique moment in the year when the world of cultural institutions and technological innovation meet and confront concrete cases of digital use within museums and exhibition spaces. A cohort of professionals touring one or two cities, between Canada and French-speaking Europe, is the initial concept imagined by {CORRESPONDANCES DIGITALES] (France) and Xn Québec (Canada), with a major evolution for 2023 with Brussels and Amsterdam as destinations.

Preview of the event with {CORRESPONDANCES DIGITALES]; Christophe Salomon, Development Director and Antoine Roland, Founding Partner.

An event co-produced by Xn Québec and {CORRESPONDANCES DIGITALES] with financial support from Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée (CNC), Europe Creative, Ministère de la Culture en France, Canada Media Fund | Fonds des médias du Canada (FMC) de la Ville de Montréal, SODEC - Société de développement des entreprises culturelles. Produced with the support of Ocim.


NUMIX LAB, Fourth edition (Brussels, Rotterdam, Amsterdam)

Christophe Salomon - NUMIX LAB aims to remain a laboratory for issues relating to technological innovation in the cultural and creative industries. In this sense, it's an event that brings together around 150 people each year, on registration, during the 4 to 5 days of meetings. We build each stay around the wishes of our community (Paris, Montreal, Luxembourg... this year Brussels and Amsterdam), but also around our own meetings. In 2023, it's a fantastic partnership with Brussels Major Events (Emmanuel Angeli and his team) that will bring everyone together in Belgium and the Netherlands, with a first edition outside the French-speaking world.

Antoine Roland - We work before each NUMIX LAB to ensure a balance in terms of geographical origin, diversity of technologies and business models, and also between producer, distributor and exhibitor of the immersive and digital industry.


C. S. - This continuity in our European tour also marks the consolidation of a true cultural industry on a continental scale. The European Union is developing numerous initiatives for our industries, for stronger cooperation, and so on. Brussels is not just symbolic in this sense - and most of our sessions will be translated live for an audience that now extends beyond the French-speaking world. "Co-producing, co-creating or co-exploiting" creative works within cultural establishments are subjects of interest to all players in the European market.

C. S. - It should also be pointed out that our Canadian partnership is no longer limited to Quebec, but covers the whole country. This, too, is a major evolution in the development of NUMIX LAB. Secret Location and The Bentway, for example, come from Toronto, along with other English-speaking studios.

C. S. - Right from the start, we had 3 types of audience. On the one hand, we have our clients: institutions (museums, exhibition spaces), public bodies in the broadest sense of the term. On the other, financial or industrial institutions (CNC, SODEX, Xn Québec...). And finally, the creative ecosystem: studios, producers, artists. We're seeing the arrival of new players in cultural venues: VIPARIS, Vinci Immobilier, SNCF, shopping malls... Our subjects are attracting more and more people, and often outside the technological innovation "bubble". And then there are the event producers! Cultival, which operates the Invalides and other Parisian venues, for example, or Manifesto (France), Wireframe (Quebec). They are often the interface between a venue and a content producer.

A. R. - The highlight of NUMIX LAB's development is the fact that we've been canvassing exhibitors and distributors. Those who are in a position to offer outlets, and establish the emerging market for this new content. Secondly, we're technology agnostic, welcoming art in public spaces, digital art and mapping, XR, large-format exhibitions and so on.

Numix Lab 2022

C. S. - The energy we see flowing through our 5 days is a promising sign of the industry's health. But with some obvious remarks. On the positive side, over the past 4 years we've seen that the large-format exhibition model works. The fashion for exhibitions dedicated to painters is over. We need to move towards a more TeamLab-oriented approach, with a real editorial or a willingness to adapt content to the large format (like Oasis Immersion in Montreal, which attracted 150,000 admissions). The Mucha exhibition at the Grand Palais Immersif also works because there's a cultural event around it. There are also questions about the possibility of co-producing certain experiences, in order to reduce the costs of certain projects. In the case of XR, Emissive (Excurio) or Félix & Paul Studios with PHI show that it can also work. This is where we see markets emerging, to be adapted according to country and destination.

A. R. - There's no doubt about it, the sector is truly creative on the production side. But it's only recently that we've been able to assert our distribution potential. Venues are multiplying, adapting and training. This is a subject at the heart of NUMIX LAB.

C. S. - There is now an obligation to hybridize locations. The Atelier des Lumières model works in the heart of major cities (Paris, London, Berlin, New York...) but not outside them. Gauges need to be carefully calculated, and the catchment area is important in this respect. Hybrid venues, capable of moving from XR to large format, from classic exhibitions to hosting a variety of events, are where it's at. We're moving towards the V2 of large-format exhibitions, with live shows, interactivity... And business models are evolving with it.

C. S. - If we go back to past examples, such as BLANCA LI's LE BAL DE PARIS, we can imagine many different things, at different prices, that demonstrate the public's appetite for these shows or exhibitions. The sociological aspect, which goes beyond home entertainment, combined with effective scenography, works. Emissive's immersive expeditions are quite fascinating in this respect.

Numix Lab 2022

A. R. - The strength of today's digital offerings and new cultural experiences lies in the fact that they can actually be included within the venue. All this is now fully integrated into the programs and offerings of the institutions concerned, and no longer "in a corner". This is extremely important for the sustainability of these proposals and operating models. The decompartmentalization and maturity of non-cultural venues (convention centers, etc.) is progressing apace, as it is a key element in completing their programming, and enlivening rooms or locations left vacant.

C. S. - What's more, these non-cultural venues are often more flexible than institutions more accustomed to long-term operations. There are evolutions in terms of practice, welcome, openness... which allow us to renew our audiences. Just look at the MONDES DISPARUS exhibition at the Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris, which takes over the entire mineralogy gallery for 9 months. At NUMIX LAB, we'll be exploring the Kanal construction site in Brussels, in a district undergoing major renewal, followed by the Atomium and the Royal Museums. In all cases, we'll be playing, contributing ideas and opportunities!


Selective program

Brussels (J1, J2, J3, J4)

  • VISITE / VISIT - KANAL - Centre Pompidou
  • New Departures, une expérience de CREW à l'iMAL
  • PANEL - Hybridité des lieux, Développer de nouveaux lieux et de nouveaux modèles d'exploitation / Hybridity of venues, Developing new venues and new operating models
  • QUOI DE NEUF ? - 30 minutes avec Creative Europe / WHAT'S NEW? - 30 minutes with Creative Europe
  • VISITE - Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique / VISIT - The Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium
  • VISITE - Plaisirs d'Hiver / VISIT - Winter Wonders
Les Invalides @ Paris
  • PRÉSENTATION - Projet Invalides / PRESENTATION - Invalides Project
  • PRÉSENTATION / PRESENTATION - Unframed Collection
  • PANEL - Hybridité des publics, Innover dans la production et la distribution pour diversifier et élargir les publics / Hybridity of audiences, Innovating production and distribution to diversify and broaden audiences
  • RENCONTRE AVEC - l'écosystème créatif bruxellois / MEETING WITH - Brussels creative ecosystem
  • VISITE / VISIT - Atomium
  • QUOI DE NEUF ? - Créer de nouveaux formats hybrides / WHAT'S NEW? - Creating new hybrid formats
  • PANEL - Hybridité des formats, Croiser les modes de création artistique, les modèles narratifs et les technologies / Hybridity of formats, Crossing modes of artistic creation, narrative models and technologies
Nxt Museum @ Amsterdam

Rotterdam + Amsterdam (J4, J5)

  • RENCONTRE AVEC - l'écosystème créatif néerlandais / MEETING WITH - the Dutch creative ecosystem
  • VISITE / VISIT - Nxt Museum
  • VISITE - Musée Van Gogh / VISIT - Van Gogh Museum
  • VISITE / VISIT - Rijksmuseum
NEMO @ Amsterdam

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