Céleste Boursier-Mougenot

Vidéodrones et Harmonichaos

Exhibition    Production    Residency   Publication   Biography


  • Exhibition from October 26th to December 18th, 2002

This composer’s sound installations integrate material, spatial and visual problematics that take account of the site in which they happen. Out of a configuration of a flow of energy, these installations produce live music, and are conceived so as to reveal the musical potential of all kinds of material (everyday objects, texts, machines, living creatures, natural phenomena ...) that the artist subtracts from their habitual function or usual context. These are not pre-established compositions but installations that depend on the site in which they can be seen and heard.

Le Grand Café presents Vidéodrones, a process whereby images and sounds invest the exhibition space. Cameras placed outside the art centre film the street from different angles. The images obtained are then retransmitted, live, inside the space. The videos are connected to a system that transforms every movement into sound, and the sound variations are due to the stream of objects that prevent light from reaching the camera lenses. The multiplicity and the enlargement of the projected images prevents an exhaustive reading, and plunges the visitor into an appropriate reality for listening.

Céleste Boursier-Mougenot’s music is therefore the result of a transformation. While this exhibition constitutes a new stage in the artist’s research and in the evolution of her project, she is also inviting spectators to envisage their environment in an altogether other way. How can we believe that this relaxing music could be engendered by the tumult of the street? The disconnect might be destabilising or reassuring, but it cannot leave us indifferent.


Vidéodrones, 1998-2000
Video and sound installation
Variable dimensions
Developped during the artist residency in Le Grand Café

Harmonichaos, 2002
13 vacuum cleaners, each equipped with a tuner, a harmonica and a bulb
Variable dimensions


Céleste Boursier-Mougenot was in residency in Saint-Nazaire from 15 October to 30 December 2002.

Vidéodrones, the work presented during Céleste Boursier-Mougenot’s exhibition at Le Grand Café, is an installation that consists in transforming a video signal, i.e.images, into sound. The system is made up of muted video cameras (deprived of their sound capabilities) distributed around the exhibition site to continuously film the background activity (urban flows, passing cars, passers-by ...). The images captured by the cameras are relayed live to several video projectors in the exhibition space.

Céleste Boursier-Mougenot’s residency allowed her to work on the spot, synchronising the digital elements in the work and precisely mastering the parameters of each stage of the process of transforming the video signal into music. To do this, Céleste Boursier-Mougenot took over one of the rooms of Le Grand Café, transformed into a workspace for the full length of the exhibition, bringing about numerous encounters with the public.


"Etat seconds"
Co-edition Frac Champagne-Ardenne, Frac Lorraine,le CNAP, Le Carré,Césaré, Paula Cooper and Xippas galleries
les Editions ANALOGUES
Distribution Les Presses du Réel. 

Size 16.5x24cm, 176 pages with DVD
French / English
32 euros

Text by Peter Szendy
Interview between Christophe Kihm and François Quintin
Interview between Samuel Bianchini and Céleste Boursier- Mougenot


  • Born in Nice, France, in 1961.
  • Lives and works in Sète, France


- Harmonichaos, Galerie Paula Cooper, New York, USA
- Etats seconds, Le Collège/Frac Champagne-Ardenne, Reims, France


- Untitled (series 4), Le Maillon, Théâtre de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France


- Videodrones & harmonichaos, Le Grand Café, Saint-Nazaire, France


- Untitled (series 3), Rice University Art Gallery, Houston, Texas, USA
- Videodrones, Synagogue de Delme, Delme, France
- Untitled (series 3), Eglise des Trinitaires, Frac Lorraine, Metz, France
- Untitled (series 3), Herzliya Museum of Art, Herzliya, Israel
- Videodrones, Galerie Paula Cooper, New York, USA


- Harmonichaos, Chapelle du Genêteil, Château-Gontier, France.

En savoir plus ...

More informations about artist's gallery :
Xippas gallery

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