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Le Code d’Orsay: Agoria Blends Artistic Innovation with Blockchain at Musée d’Orsay

In a convergence of art, music, and blockchain technology, the Musée d’Orsay is welcoming the innovative artist Agoria for an event blending digital artistry with the museum’s historic collection. The event, {Le code d’Orsay} (Orsay Code), running from February 13 to March 10, 2024, aims to attract new audiences by showcasing experimental creations in the digital and physical realms.

Agoria Tezos Musee d'Orsay

In a convergence of art, music, and blockchain technology, the Musée d’Orsay is welcoming the innovative artist Agoria for an event blending digital artistry with the museum’s historic collection. The event, {Le code d’Orsay} (Orsay Code), running from February 13 to March 10, 2024, aims to attract new audiences by showcasing experimental creations in the digital and physical realms.

Agoria’s Fusion of Worlds

Agoria, whose real name is Sébastien Devaud, is at the forefront of the Web3 digital art scene and is renowned in the international electronic music sphere. “Although digital and physical are often in opposition, I try to reverse this relationship and reconcile them,” Agoria asserts about his practice. His work, dubbed Biological Generative Art, combines algorithms, artificial intelligence, and data from the living world. In collaboration with scientists, it integrates art, music, the Metaverse, and science, emphasizing the interplay between the living world and blockchain technology.

Musée d’Orsay’s Historical Innovation

The Musée d’Orsay, renowned for its vast collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces, is no stranger to innovation and modernity, having been a stage for critical confrontations in art, most notably during the emergence of impressionism. Christophe Leribault, President of the Musée d’Orsay, notes, “Agoria’s creations breathe new life into our works and open our eyes to new possibilities,” highlighting the museum’s exploration of its collection with the digital art world of Web3, a decentralized ecosystem built upon blockchain technology.

Event Highlights

As part of the {Le code d’Orsay} event, Agoria will present two works that resonate with the museum’s ethos.

1 – {Σ LUMINA} La restitution d’un souffle. (Recreating a breath)

Digital artwork, generative biological art, 2023 and creation of NFTs on the Tezos Blockchain
Authors: Agoria, Johan Lescure
In the cabinet d’Architecture

Agoria and the artist Johan Lescure created {Σ LUMINA}. This sculpture paves towards digital works of art, in which the visitor takes part by blowing. Its shadow offers up a QR code granting access to digital works of art that evolve according to how each visitor blows a breath of air. These digital pieces are created from a selection of masterpieces from the museum’s collections, chosen by the two artists. In concrete terms, the light projected on the sculpture periodically generates a QR code on the ground.

After scanning it, the visitor can activate the digital work of art by blowing on the microphone on their smartphone. This breath, a vital gesture and specific to each individual, will uniquely transform the digital work. Each visitor can take it with them and keep the memory by “minting” it, meaning by saving it as an NFT using the Web3 process known as “live minting”.

These works exist on the Tezos blockchain and are created in collaboration with fx(hash), an open platform dedicated to generative art, and the open-sourced Feral File app, which provides dynamic ways to experience, collect, and engage with digital art. A poetic and fun experience, but also a technological first.

Agoria and Johan Lescure will create between four and seven original works inspired by works generated by visitors. These works will be included in a sale whose profits will be donated to the museum.


Agoria and Johan Lescure, {Σ LUMINA} Photo © Cédric Corroy

Selection of works at the Musée d’Orsay
William Bouguereau, The Oreads, 1902
Jules Breton, Le Soir, 1860
Gustave Caillebotte, Le Nageur, 1877
Gustave Caillebotte, The Floor Scrapers, 1875
Edgar Degas, Le Foyer de la danse à l’Opéra de la rue Le Peletier, 1872
Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer, La Femme à la médaille, 1896
Léon Lhermitte, The Harvesters’ Pay, 1882
Jean-François Millet, The Gleaners, 1857
Claude Monet, La Rue Montorgueil, à Paris. Fête du 30 juin 1878
Auguste Renoir, Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette, 1876
Jozsef Rippl-Ronai, Un parc la nuit, between 1892 and 1895
Marcellin Varcollier, Caserne des Célestins à Paris, vue prise à vol d’oiseau, 1877
Antoine Vollon, Falaise, circa 1870

2 – Saccharomyces cerevisiae’s interpretation of Gustave Courbet’s L’Atelier du peintre
Digital piece, biological generative art, 2023 Room 7

In collaboration with scientists Nicolas Desprat, Jean-Baptiste Boulé, Manuel Théry and Julien Mozziconacci, Agoria invites us to discover an “Interpretation by Saccharomyces cerevisiae of The Painter’s Studio by Gustave Courbet”.

This creation considers the topic of memory and transmission, the result of a work of curation and retranscription of a biological yeast growing experiment (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). 

The conditions for growing the yeast mimic the great historic events that took place during the painter’s life. The data resulting from the experiment are used to enhance The Painter’s Studio The digital piece breathes life into Gustave Courbet’s painting, revealing its living nature. 

Gustave Courbet – The Painter’s Studio between 1854 and 1855 oil on canvas 361 x 598 cm
Purchase assisted by a public subscription and by the Société des Amis du Louvre, 1920 © Musée d’Orsay, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt

The Musée d’Orsay is also set to host a conference on February 22, where the project’s participants will discuss the convergence of digital art and science. The event will conclude with Agoria’s DJ set on February 23.

Support and Vision of Tezos Foundation

This unique collaboration is supported by the Tezos Foundation, known for its commitment to ecological responsibility and openness. The partnership between the Musée d’Orsay and the Tezos Foundation was fostered during the Web3 for the Arts and Culture (WAC) Fellowship. Sunil Singhvi, Head of Arts & Culture at Trilitech, remarks on this fusion: “Artistic innovation is at the core of the Tezos Art Community and {Σ LUMINA} by Agoria and Johan Lescure is a testament to the boundless possibilities when art and technology come together.”

Cultural Evolution in Art Appreciation

The event encapsulates a broader trend where cultural institutions are engaging with blockchain technology and the digital art community to expand their reach and reimagine the experience of art appreciation. Agoria’s residency at the Musée d’Orsay is a testament to the evolving narrative of art, one that is increasingly inclusive of digital expression and the profound capabilities of blockchain technology.

Key Dates

February 13, 2024: The event begins, featuring the premiere of Agoria’s musical tribute to the Musée d’Orsay.
February 22, 2024: A conference at the Musée d’Orsay, where Agoria and the scientific collaborators will discuss the union of digital art and science.
February 23, 2024: Agoria’s DJ set performance in the museum’s nave, celebrating the fusion of electronic music with the museum’s heritage.
March 10, 2024: The closing of the {Le code d’Orsay} event.

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In a convergence of art, music, and blockchain technology, the Musée d’Orsay is welcoming the innovative artist Agoria for an event blending digital artistry with the museum’s historic collection. The event, {Le code d’Orsay} (Orsay Code), running from February 13 to March 10, 2024, aims to attract new audiences by showcasing experimental creations in the digital and physical realms.

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