10–18 June 2022

The Beyond Matter MA Fellowship Programme was invisioned as a continuation of decades long art and design research in the area of digital cultural heritage combining arts, humanities and technology in Systems of Representation research group at Aalto University. We believe that this unique approach offers large reciprocal advantages both to cultural and heritage institutions, as well as to educational ones. Design is directed towards imagining achievable alternative futures, and working with talented design students of various profiles enriches museums with inflow of fresh thoughts and ideas. Supporting the new ways of thinking can create possibilities of engaging with heritage in novel ways complementary to curatorial work in the traditional sense. Similarly, the process of critically engaging and experimenting with exciting materials of high cultural value can motivate students to gain deeper understanding and new knowledge about heritage and about design. Museums, through their interdisciplinary engagement can provide students with much needed scientific and humanistic grounding.

As part of the international research project Beyond Matter – Cultural Heritage on the Verge of Virtual Reality led by ZKM Karlsruhe and funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, the MA Fellowship Programme was coordinated from autumn 2020 to summer 2021 concurrently with the conceptual phase of the digital reconstructions of two momentous historical exhibitions, Les Immatériaux (Centre Pompidou, 1985) and Iconoclash (ZKM, 2002). The MA Fellowship Programme offered ten internships at four different European cultural heritage institutions to outstanding individuals selected through an application process open to the Aalto University MA students of all study lines. The overall work which the selected students completed during their placements ranges from contribution to production process of a physical exhibition and an online conference, involvement with curatorial concepts and research of archival materials, through creating 3D virtual models and interactive 3D web-based environments, developing interaction concepts for a hybrid exhibition, developing the concept design for online and mobile versions of a visual archive on public art, to a concept design for a virtual reconstruction of a historical exhibition.

This exhibition highlights selected aspects of engaging with heritage as a source of knowledge in art and design education and displays processes and outcomes of co-design methodologies employed during the Beyond Matter MA Fellowship Programme in particularly rich and insightful collaboration between Aalto University and the Centre Pompidou. Responding to our partner’s needs, we provided supervision for the students as well as guidance in various aspects of the collaborative design process in all phases during the Fellowship. The process involved a series of participatory co-design workshops with the curators and researchers from the Centre Pompidou on ideation, audience profiles, information architecture and content design. In addition, to support the research process, we organised a series of educational activities for students such as Information Architecture workshop, Sketching 360° VR Panoramas workshops and a lecture on Architectural mapping techniques. Designers, curators and art historians worked closely together and generously shared their knowledge and insights, trying to build a common space of understanding and inspiration throughout the co-design process. These efforts resulted in the final concept design for the virtual reconstruction of Les Immatériaux, the pioneering exhibition curated by French philosopher Jean-François Lyotard and design theorist Thierry Chaput. Through Les Immatériaux, they explored the intersections of art, science and technology and attempted to address the postmodern transformation of the world influenced by the increasing presence of new technologies in all aspects of life.

The assessment of the whole MA Fellowship process allows us to reflect on complexities and advantages of a co-design collaboration as a possible direction for practice-based art and design research. In addition, in the context of digital cultural heritage, it addresses the potential that designers and artists have in bridging gaps between different disciplines.


Photo: Cvijeta Miljak

Re-matter – Five Sites of Departure

A diagrammatic floor plan of Les Immatériaux, consisting of 61 individual labyrinthically interconnected sites, occurs as a starting point for explorations into the archival material, leading to the virtual reconstruction of Les Immatériaux exhibition. The spatial 3D model enabled discoveries regarding the placement of certain exhibits previously impossible because of the fragmentary documentation. The research process leading to the final concept design started with five sites Théâtre du non-corps, Matériau dématérialisé, Peinture luminescente, «Inframince» and Toutes les copies, selected for the diversity of the exhibits and the archival material they contained. Exploring, understanding and imagining a trajectory from a bygone exhibition and the archival materials left behind, towards an interactive virtual experience of a digital reconstruction takes a tangible shape through digital fabrication techniques of laser engraving and 3D printing inspired by architectural scale models – maquettes – built to communicate the cornerstones of the design process.


 Octave au pays des Immatériaux

documentary film, 35 min, direction by Paule Zajdermann, screenplay by Daniel Soutif and Paule Zajdermann, production Centre Pompidou (1985), Kandinsky Library
The film Octave in the Land of Immaterials, with participation of Jean-Paul Lyotard and Thierry Chaput, features a young boy Octave navigating through the exhibition on roller skates.



Un-time: Machinima Printed Matter

Machinima is an audio-visual genre that has emerged from games. Through machinima, people enact their own actions and activities in digital – often online – spaces which they then instantiate as films, or as in this case as Printed Matter literally encrusted on satin cloth material. The six prints on exhibition offer the spectator a view from inside the novel 3D reconstruction model of the 1985 Les Immaterieaux exhibition created as part of the Beyond Matter– Cultural Heritage on the Verge of Virtual Reality. The sights presented are complemented by archival materials from the exhibition. These images can be best described as time warp depictions: They are future-oriented projections that also remediate the past. The work is a commentary on contemporary digital culture as it becomes more and more entangled with the new digital spaces instantiated via information technologies such as AR, VR, XR.



Orbiting specimens – archival placeholders

Three videos contemplate on intersection of art, science and technology, the area of exploration in the historical exhibition Les Immatériaux, each showcasing one 3D model from each field. The 3D models were created for the virtual reconstruction of historical Les Immatériaux exhibition and serve as placeholders for the related archival materials. The videos are rendered using a particular cinematic technique – the arc shot. The technique allows creating a sense of fluidity and movement in space and time to otherwise static scenes and focusing viewer’s attention to the subject with a constantly changing perspective. This can bring dramatic and poetic qualities to a visual experience of an object. The term “arc” comes from mathematics and refers to a segment of a full circumference of a circle. This segment in the shot is the orbital path of the camera. The work concerns the notion of translation from one medium to another. The videos remediate the 3D models from sites of Toutes les peaux (matrice), Peinture luminescente (matériau) and Irreprésentable (matière).


Les Immatériaux Virtual Exhibition
online access: lesimmateriaux.beyondmatter.eu
online brochure with more information

Les Immatériaux poster, design by Luc Maillet, Grafibus, 1985.


Centre National d’Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou

Curatorial team – New Media Department, Musée national d’art moderne  –  Centre de création industrielle
Marcella Lista, Philippe Bettinelli, Julie Champion Lagadec

Archival research
Andreas Broeckmann, Marie Vicet

Alto University
School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Design Team
Niklas Alenius, Punit Hiremath, Edoardo Piroddi, Jiaxin Tao

Advising and supervision
Lily Díaz-Kommonen and Cvijeta Miljak

MA Fellowship coordinator
Cvijeta Miljak

The Beyond Matter Project Principal Investigator
Lily Díaz-Kommonen

Planning officer
Hanna Karkku


10–18 June 2022 at Espronceda – Institute of Art and Culture, Barcelona

Works in the exhibition
Re-matter – Five Sites of Departure by Cvijeta Miljak*
Octave au pays des Immatériaux, documentary film by Paule Zajdermann, production Centre Pompidou (1985), Kandinsky Library
Un-time: Machinima Printed Matter by Lily Díaz-Kommonen*
Orbiting Specimens – Archival Placeholders by Cvijeta Miljak*
Matter, Non-matter, Anti-matter. Past Exhibitions as Digital Experiences, the
online exhibition showcasing two digital reconstructions of Les Immatériaux (1985) and Iconoclash (2002), complete credits in Impressum.

* Works in the exhibition use various elements created during the concept design phase by MA Fellows Niklas Alenius, Punit Hiremath, Edoardo Piroddi and Jiaxin Tao, as well as archival material from Kandinsky Library. For full credits please check Les Immatériaux virtual model credits bellow.

Exhibition concept, design and production
Cvijeta Miljak and Lily Díaz-Kommonen

3D models
Niklas Alenius, Jiaxin Tao

Thank you
Janne Andberg,
Janne Ojala, Laura Törnroos

Les immatériaux virtual model
Curatorial Team: Philippe Bettinelli, Julie Champion, Marcella Lista
Research: Andreas Broeckmann, Marie Vicet
Concept Design: Niklas Alenius, Punit Hiremath, Edoardo Piroddi, Jiaxin Tao, under supervision of Lily Diaz-Kommonen and Cvijeta Miljak
Design : Niklas Alenius, Edoardo Piroddi
Design Management: Matthias Heckel
Software Development: Netzbewegung GmbH
Author of the texts: Antonia Wunderlich, edited by Andreas Broeckmann
English translations: Andreas Broeckmann, Robin Mackay
With the participation of the following departments at the Centre Pompidou: Bibliothèque Kandinsky: Sonia Descamps, Mica Gherghescu, Nicolas Liucci-Goutnikov; Audiovisual Department: Arnold Jeanville, Laetitia Poissonnier, Sylvain Wolf; Public Archives: Jean-Philippe Bonilli, Jean Charlier
Special Thanks to the people involved in Les Immatériaux in 1985, who kindly shared their memories and archives: Bernard Blistène, Jean-Louis
Boissier, Pauline Délis, François-Xavier Délis, Jacques Faujour,
Frédéric Develay, Katia Lafitte, Françoise Michel, Martine Moinot,
Jean-Claude Planchet, Philippe Puicouyoul, Daniel Soutif, Katerina
Thomadaki, Liliane Terrier, Paule Zajdermann



The virtual exhibition DIGITAL AWARENESS. From education to social impact and human identity, featuring Heritage as a Source of knowledge in Art and Design Education as one of four main sections, is accessible in Mozilla Hubs.

Designed by Marc Gálvez, Espronceda Institute of Art & Culture, 2022