November 23rd, 2020 | by

Les Ailleurs, a new rendez-vous in 2021 for digital art in Paris

Virtual reality, augmented reality, spatialized soundscapes, interactive screens… What do these immersive technologies have to say about our times ? In the company of artists, authors and thinkers interested, Fisheye is partnering with Gaîté Lyrique to announce a new rendez-vous dedicated to immersive experiences.

Expand your perceptions, immerse into soundscapes, and become one with new stories, between April 6 and July 11, 2021. Visitors to Les Ailleurs will discover a selection of immersive and multi-sensorial experiences, in a newly designed space at La Gaîté Lyrique. The event’s program, put together by Fabbula curators, consists of an exhibition of immersive installations, workshops, talks and performances suitable for all public, exploring immersion in every shape and form.

Putting on a VR headset is to change one’s mode of perception. In an instant, you dive in a different version of the world and experience pure freedom, outside of time and space, reconnecting us with our deepest emotions.

A New Rendez Vous

Les Ailleurs, dedicated to the confluence between virtual reality and the general public, is the continuation of VR Arles Festival, an event founded five years ago by Fisheye, Les Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles and BNP Paribas. “Our main goal for this next edition is to create the best environment for authors and the public to interact with each other”, explains Benoit Baume, founder of Fisheye and VR Arles Festival. “If visitors forget the technology, if they explore our immersive experiences and come out with an -even slightly- transformed perception of the world, we’ll have succeeded” adds Victoire Thevenin, artistic director for the festival.

The festival’s common thread ? Questioning and renewing our perceptions of reality : “Immersion and its narrative power really help going beyond current frontiers of reality” says Benoit Rousseau, artistic director of La Gaîté Lyrique. “They offer the possibility to dive into other iterations of reality, to live within different imaginaries and reclaim stories of a world in transition”, Anna Tardivel, artistic programming of La Gaîté Lyrique.


On one hand an interactive exhibition, Les Ailleurs also hosts performances available live on Twitch and Youtube; a conference cycle on current events in the immersive art world entitled “Les Rencontres du Virtuel”; physical and virtual concerts; masterclasses and performances.

In order to make the technologies used to create such artworks accessible to younger visitors, Les Ailleurs will invite Capitaine Futur, the 5-12 youth workshops hosted at La Gaite Lyrique, and will offer recurring DIY workshops echoing the festival’s program, for each age group : augmented reality games, interactive games, sound immersion, VR narration... An immersive artist in residence will lead the workshops at La Gaîté Lyrique for five months.

Ten digital artworks in competition

Les Ailleurs is both an exhibition and a competition. The ten immersive experiences programmed in the festival make use of various multi sensorial and immersive technologies : virtual, augmented or mixed reality, spatialized sound design, interactive screens… They will compete for the festival’s Grand Prix (10 000€), awarded by a multi disciplinary jury during the opening week.

Co-organized by Fisheye and La Gaîté Lyrique, with special support from BNP Paribas

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