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Maurice Benayoun
* 1957

Archive of Digital Art (ADA). “Maurice Benayoun – artist profile”. (retrieved 2017-06-12). @online{ADAartistprofile, author = {Archive of Digital Art (ADA)}, title = {Maurice Benayoun artist profile}, url = {}, urldate = {retrieved 2017-06-12}
Maurice Benayoun (aka MoBen) (b. 29 March 1957 in Mascara, Algeria) is a French pioneer new-media artist and theorist based in Paris.[1] His work employs various media, including (and often combining) video, immersive virtual reality, the Web, wireless technology, performance, large-scale urban art installations and interactive exhibitions.

Born in Mascara, Algeria in March 1957, he moved to France in 1958. In the 1980s Benayoun directed video installations and short films about contemporary artists, including Daniel Buren, Jean Tinguely, Sol LeWitt and Martial Raysse. In 1987 he co-founded Z-A, a computer graphics and Virtual Reality private lab. Between 1990 and 1993, Benayoun collaborated with Belgian graphic novelist François Schuiten on Quarxs, a computer graphics world that explores variant worlds with alternate physical laws.[2] In 1993, he received the Villa Medicis Hors Les Murs for his Art After Museum project, a virtual reality contemporary art collection.

After 1994 Benayoun was involved with more virtual-reality and interactive-art installations. One of these was described by Jean-Paul Fargier in Le Monde (1994) as "the first Metaphysical Video Game". One important work from this period includes The Tunnel under the Atlantic, finished in 1995. This was a tele-virtual project linking the Pompidou Center in Paris and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal.[3] In 1997 he creates with Jean-Baptiste Barrière World Skin, a Photo Safari in the Land of War, an immersive installation, often mentioned as a reference in virtual art, which was awarded with the Golden Nica, Ars Electronica 1998.

World Skin (1997), Maurice Benayoun's Virtual Reality Interactive Installation
The Navigation Room (1997) and The Membrane (2001) were created for the Cité des Sciences de la Villette. The Navigation Room presented, through an innovative interface, highly personalized visits and content, ending with a web page dedicated to each visitor. The Membrane (2001) — the core of the exhibition Man Transformed — was a large surface breathing and feeling the presence of the visitors. The Panoramic Tables for the Planet of Visions pavilion for Hanover EXPO2000, directed by François Schuiten, was an innovative application of augmented reality. In 2006, together with the architect Christophe Girault, they created the new permanent exhibition inside the Arc de Triomphe, Paris, opening in February 2007.

Benayoun conceived and directed the exhibition Cosmopolis, Overwriting the City (2005), a giant art and science immersive installation presented for French Year in China in Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu and CongQing. In 2008, NeORIZON, a large scale urban installation in Shanghai, converted people into flash codes then becoming the city itself. Initiated in 2005, the series of works, Mechanics of Emotions presents Internet as the world nerve system and world emotions as a possible material for the new metaphoric model of economy.

In 2008 Maurice Benayoun submitted his blog, The Dump, a dump of undone art projects, as a doctorate thesis entitled: Artistic Intentions at Work, Hypothesis for Committing Art at Université Paris 1, la Sorbonne. The Phd received the "mention très honorable" (the highest distinction in the French academic system).

As a theorist, Maurice Benayoun coined the concepts of Critical Fusion, as "the fusion of fiction and reality to decypher the world" and Extended Relativity, a model from physics to understand the process of subjective data mining and urban navigation . He considered his recent works as a form of Open Art, paraphrasing Jon Ippolito, not limitated to the traditional forms, media and economic schemes of art.

From 1984 to 2010 he was assistant professor at Paris 1 university, Pantheon-Sorbonne, where he was co-founder and art director of the CITU research center (Création Interactive Transdisciplinaire Universitaire) together with Paris 8 University. CiTu is dedicated to research and creation (R&C) in the emerging forms of art. In 2010 he became associate professor at Paris 8 university, were he founded (2011) and heads H2H Lab (the Human to Human Lab), a cluster of public and private labs envisioning art as an advanced form of human mediations. Professor at School of Creative Media, City University Hong Kong (August 2012-...) (FROM:

2001 co-director of the CITU / Creation Interactive Transdisciplinaire Universitaire
2000 - 2000 project for the French Pavillon of EXPO 2000 in Hannover / title: "Planet of Visions", in cooperation with Francois Schuiten and Bleu Lumière
1998 Golden Nica, Prix Ars Electronica, Linz / Interactive Art category for World skin together with Jean-Baptiste Barrière (music)
1996 - 1997 invited artist at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts of Paris
1992 awarded at Villa Medicis Hors Les Murs of the French Foreign Ministry / for the Art After Museum project (A.M.E.)
1989 development of The Quarxs / in cooperation with with François Schuiten
first HDTV CG series, produced by Z-A, 1993 broadcasted by CANAL+. France 3
1987 Co-founder of Z-A production, ever since Creative Director /
1984 lecturer at the Université de Paris 1 (Panthéon-Sorbonne) / teaches «Video Art and New Images »

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Publications & References
Benayoun, M.. »On Digital Mutations in the Landscape of Chinese Contemporary Art’.« On the Road – Young Media Artists in China (2018).
Benayoun, M.. »Preface: “L’artiste, la fusion critique et le neuro-mimétisme urbain”.« Chronotopies, Lecture et écriture des mondes en mouvement (2017).
Benayoun, M.. »Quarxs, 90s.« Animamix Biennale 2015-6 (2016).
Benayoun, M.. »Who and What are the Quarxs?.« POST PIXEL.Animamix Biennale 2015-6 (2016).
Benayoun, M.. »Open Sky Gallery.« What Urban Media Art Can Do (2016).
Benayoun, M. and J. Bares. »Urban Media Art Paradox: Critical Fusion vs. Urban Cosmetics.« What Urban Media Art Can Do (2016).
Benayoun, M. and Maurice Benayoun and James Edward Imi. »An Example of Extended Relativity Applied to Urban Navigation.« Architecture, City and Information Design (2014).
Benayoun, M.. »Emotion Winds, Video Installation.« FLUX, Metamorphosis of the Virtual 5+5, Digital Art Today Paris-Shanghai (2014).
Benayoun, M.. »911 Bad, Mad, Glad, Sad.« Art et Culture(s) Numeriques (2012).
Benayoun, M.. »So.So.So. Somebody, Somewhere, Some Time.« Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art, A Sourcebook of Artists’ Writings (2012).
Benayoun, M.. The Dump, 207 Hypotheses for Committing Art. France: Fyp editions, 2011.
Maurice, M.. Maurice Benayoun OPEN ART. France: Nouvelles éditions Scala, 2011.
Benayoun, M.. »Art Collider: Towards Transactional Aesthetics.« AAO Project Conference Proceedings (2011).
Benayoun, M. and Maria Roussou. »Immersive Virtual, Mixed, or Augmented Reality Art.« The International Journal of Arts and Technology (2010).
Benayoun, M.. »La crise de nerf du corps global.« Nouvelles cartographies, nouvelles villes HyperUrbain II (2010).
Benayoun, M. and Stephen W. Gilroy and Marc Cavazza. »PAD–based Multimodal affective fusion.« Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction (2009).
Benayoun, M. and Stephen W. Gilroy and Marc Cavazza. »Using affective trajectories to describe states of flow in interactive art.« International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technologies (2009).
Benayoun, M.. »World Skin, a photo safari in the Land of War.« sk-Interfaces (2008).
Benayoun, M.. »Art after Technology.« Technology Review #7 (2008).
Benayoun, M. and Stephen W. Gilroy and Marc Cavazza. »An affective model of user experience for interactive art.« International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technologies (2008).
Benayoun, M.. »Les Paradoxes du corps numérique.« Virtual / Physical Bodies (2008).
Benayoun, M.. »Témoignage d’artiste.« Images, savoirs, numérique (2007).
Benayoun, M. and Stephen W. Gilroy and Marc Cavazza and Remi Chaignon. »An Emotionally Responsive AR Art Installation.« ISMAR’07 (2007).
Benayoun, M. and Stephen W. Gilroy and Marc Cavazza. »E-Tree, Emotionally Driven Virtual Reality.« Interactive Art Program, ACM Siggraph (2007).
Benayoun, M.. »Qu’est-ce que le contemporain?.« Les cahiers de l’ENSAN (2006).
Benayoun, M.. »Emotion Vending Machine.« Smile Machines (2006).
Maurice, M. and Jean-Baptiste Barrière. »Emotional Traffic, Mechanics of Emotions.« Ars Electronica 2005- Hybrid: Living in Paradox (2005).
Benayoun, Maurice. »So What?.« In Future Cinema, the Cinematic Imaginary after Film, edited by Jeffrey Shaw and Peter Weibel, 572-581. Boston, Massachussets: ZKM/ MIT Press, 2003.
Benayoun, Maurice. »On Line, Life Line, Art Shifts.« e-what, Conquest of Time (April 2002).
Benayoun, Maurice. »So.So.So. Somebody, Somewhere, Sometime.« In Future Cinema, edited by Jeffrey Shaw und Peter Weibel. : MIT Press, 2002.
Benayoun, Maurice. »From Virtual to Public Space Toward an Impure Art.« In Understanding Mixed Reality? / Spaces for Emergent Communication, edited by . Bonn: 2001.
Benayoun, Maurice. »Autres sites, nouveaux paysages.« Revue d´esthétique 39 (2001).
Benayoun, Maurice. »Art Impact, La mémoire partagée à perte de vue.« Ecart , no. 2 (2000).
Benayoun, Maurice. »L´art soumis à la Question par la technologie. Interview par Charles de Meaux.« Cultures en Mouvement , no. 15 (March 1999).
Benayoun, Maurice. »Un monde trop humain. Nouveaux, Meilleurs et autres Mondes.« La Mazarine (Autumn 1999): 1; 100-105; 138.
Benayoun, Maurice. »The Virtual Reality World as a Metaphor.« In Conference abstracts and applications, ACM Siggraph, edited by . : 1998.
Benayoun, Maurice. »Cyber Récréation. Ars Electronica 1996.« Technicart (1996).