May 3, 2009

This Poeme Electronique Was Brought To You By Philips

expo58_corbu_philips.jpg

Hello, Earth to Le Corbusier archive!

Corbusier conceived Poeme electronique for the Philips Pavilion at the 1958 Expo in Brussels. It was an 8-minute immersive light, film and sound experience which told mankind's long, hard slog towards peace.

Don't forget the architecture. The multi-channel version of Poeme electronique, with a score by Edgard Varese, was projected on the walls of the tensile tent-like pavilion, which was designed by composer/architect Iannis Xenakis, who was working for Le Corbusier's firm at the time. Xenakis recalled--perhaps wishfully, I don't know--that the parabolic concrete forms came directly from his graph-based score for his 1954 composition, Metastasis. [The piece was staged last March at the Barbican as part of a Xenakis program, concurrent with the Corbusier exhibition.]

xenakis_metastasis.jpg

Here's Poeme Electronique in its single channel version:

This brief segment produced in 2000 for a virtual reality recreation of the Poeme Electronique experience also includes period footage, photos, and a couple of interesting looking models from the Philips archives:

Le Corbusier; Iannis Xenakis; Edgard Varèse
«Poème électronique: Philips Pavilion»
[mediaartnet.org via things]
previously: E.A.T. and the Pepsi Pavilion, Osaka Expo 70; a lost piece of corporate-sponsored installation art?

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

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first published: May 3, 2009.

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