Allegorical. Responsive. Technological. is a series of studio projects exploring the potential of data visualization through a technological tool, Touch Designer.

What is the relationship between Art and Technology? How can this relationship stimulate new visions? How can we define the value of a piece of art generated by a machine, or an automated system?

These fundamental questions resonate within the walls of the EPFL+ECAL Lab and occupy the minds that inhabit them. MAS in Design Research for Digital Innovation students offer their own interpretation here in order to provide some answers.


Type: Studio Project
Year: 2021


MAS Research Assistants: Lucie Houel, Rémi Opalinski, Romain Talou, Valentin Calame, André Andrade
Project Leads: Lara Défayes and Romain Collaud
Guest Critic: Stefano Stoll
Development Support: Delphine Ribes, Yves Kalberer, Cédric Duchêne
Scenography: Béatrice Durandard

Not in real time webcam

André Andrade

With the advancement of technology, our lives are increasingly monitored and our actions recorded. The freely accessible webcams filming cities and people are proof of the trivialization of surveillance. Today, it seems as though we have accepted the fact that everyone can spy on others in public space. But beyond viewing live, these images can also be saved and analyzed.

The work Not in real time webcam offers a new video stream, entirely controlled by the machine. An assemblage of recordings, this new webcam breaks free from the notion of time. The actors of this parallel world have been arbitrarily chosen and followed. They are presented here in a controlled manner and their number is linked to that of the spectators.

Useless or Boring then Disappear

Lucie Houel

“Nothing is as cryptic as a void”
A void, Georges Perec

UBD — Useless or Boring then Disappear extends the concept of obsolescence to the human, in the machine’s world, the one who becomes outdated is erased. Through this process of transposition, the installation re-creates the vivid feeling of frustration and helplessness that one can feel facing the disappearance of digital and analog content. What trace is left of what once existed?

The Council of Sustainable Uncertainty

Rémi Opalinski

During this pandemic, the democratic fragility and the blurred flow of data in which we bathe daily, has reinforced a collective feeling of powerlessness. Plunged into this common lethargy, what refuges can we explore in the face of this crisis of trust between government and individuals?

The Council of Sustainable Uncertainty, depicts a satirical imaginary where eight entities make political decisions using environmental data. Dedicated to administering itself, the council tries to give a direction to our common life.


Romain Talou

When the physical experiential relationship to a work of art is disrupted in this suspended time, how can we create a human bond between in situ and extramuros? AM.01 is a social experience that questions emotional daily feelings from a group of people who in the past were gathered together.

By adopting the sound aesthetics and the communication network architecture of a late 70’s answering machine, this project expresses the discussion between sender and receiver through a sound experience. At the time these lines are written, and as long as social distancing is imposed on us, AM.01 invites fellow workers to give their voice to what they expect, hope, or fear for the future, to question the landing after this suspended time.

And then what? This X-months experience will then lead to a sound time capsule which will offer us a glance, or rather a listening on the past, lived collectively and without physical distance.

Holotypes I, II & III

Valentin Calame

Inspired by the current climate crisis, Holotypes I, II & III plunges us into a hypothetical future, where samples of extinct plant species are preserved and displayed in a museum. This exposition room is sporadically transformed by your interference, revealing the artificial interventions of man under the aegis of these historical plant artefacts.

The memory emanating from these catalogued holotypes outcrops the traces of a past that continues to haunt the place. Holotypes I, II & III is a simulation of ecosystems born from the fusion of technology and organic matter, where past and future coexist in a perpetual tension of the present.