For the last 3 decades, Maurice Benayoun (moBen) has been at the forefront of creation and innovation in media art. His works have been among the first to utilise 3D graphics for animated TV series, virtual reality, augmented reality and video, for large-scale urban and indoor media installations and exhibition design.
Moreover, as a critical practitioner, Benayoun has consistently prioritised content. His work conveys impactful messages concerning social and historical concerns as well as addressing human capacities and behaviour, influenced by a philosophy of ‘critical fusion’ – the notion that fiction and reality must coalesce in artworks to create a deeper and more critical sense of ‘the real’.
To date, Benayoun has conceived and produced, among others, the first intercontinental televirtual installation (Tunnel under the Atlantic, 1995), one the very first 3D computer graphic HDTV series (QUARXS, 1991-1994), some of the earliest AI and VR artworks (Is the Devil Curved? 1994), the first VR to be work awarded a Golden Nica (World Skin, Ars Electronica 1998), the first world map of emotions (Mechanics of Emotions, 2005 – present), the first full networked on-site exhibition (Navigation Room, Cité des Sciences de la Villette, 1997-1998), and the first PC based immersive room (SAS Cube).
Benayoun’s personal engagement, through an open and critically employed practice, has been awarded on more than 20 occasions, with 4 Ars Electronica awards (including the Golden Nica in Interactive Art), as well as awards, commissions and selections at Siggraph, Imagina, Image du Futur, ISEA, and Zero 1. To present, Benayoun has exhibited at new media events and contemporary art museums around the world, including the Pompidou Centre in Paris and museums of contemporary art in Montreal, Tokyo, Helsinki, Lyon, Seoul, and New York, with further exhibitions in the public space in Manhattan, Paris, Berlin, Sydney, Melbourne, Shanghai.
The lecture is organized within the interdisciplinary programme of the Polytechnic Museum Polytech.Science.Art in association with Strelka Institute and supported by innovation partner 'Megafon'. All events of the program are dedicated to one of the most significant phenomenon of contemporary culture – interdisciplinary collaboration between artists, scientists and technology specialists. The program starts in 2014 with a series of workshops and lectures of international and Russian experts, artists, researchers, including influential representatives of science art, the experts acknowledged by international scientific community and granted with numerous awards and prizes, as well as young professionals. Many of them will present their projects in Russia for the first time.