PARIS, Dec. 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Taking into account Artmarket.com’s shareholder equity, equity of the market, and their access to any information likely to impact the share price, Artmarket.com must inform the market and its shareholders of the publication of a long article by Marielle Mayo, entitled “Abode of Chaos, a Metaverse in the making” which appears in the December 2022 n°2208 issue of the monthly magazine Géomètre© (creation 1847).
This article reports on the Metaverse of the Organe Contemporary Art Museum which manages La Demeure du Chaos / Abode of Chaos (dixit The New York Times), extended to Artprice’s headquarters, specifically the NFT Marketplace linked to the Blockchain.
At a time when many large companies have a Metaverse in the making, this scientific and well documented article sheds light on the monumental undertaking by the Server Group (parent company) and Artprice by Artmarket, who have concluded that land surveyors being experts in spatial data are the most competent, to lead to a truly concrete Metaverse.
As Philippe Barthélémy, Co-founder of Iconem and leader of the 3DLab team at TT Geomètres Experts (TTGE) who worked on the Metaverse of the Artprice by Artmarket headquarters, points out: “The land surveyor has the expertise to certify a point in space. With the development of digital technology, almost infinite information fields can be associated with it. In the metaverse, our objective is to transform this ‘intelligent’ point into an ‘intelligible’ point by resorting to algorithms. All of this is part of the same value chain.”
Below is the translation in English of the original article in French.
Special thanks go to the monthly magazine Géomètre© as well as to Marielle Mayo.
The Abode of Chaos, a metaverse in the making
Located close to the French city of Lyon, The “Abode of Chaos” (Demeure du Chaos) and its open-air museum of contemporary art have been completely digitized in collaboration with a firm of land surveyors. The resulting data will serve as the basis for the creation of a metaverse in the form of an escape game…
In the hills just north of Lyon, nestled between the verdant Monts d’Or and the river Saône, the village of Saint-Romain-au-Mont-d’Or offers a haven of tranquility. Upon arrival, you may be forgiven for experiencing a certain surprise when you discover, at the bend of a road lined with bourgeois sandstone houses, the blackened enclosure walls of the Abode of Chaos, entirely tagged with inscriptions and portraits… street art style. Behind these walls, Thierry Ehrmann, an entrepreneur and an artist-sculptor has transformed the Domaine de la source, a 17th-century property, into an open-air museum of contemporary art where monumental sculptures, shipping containers, giant skulls, aircraft wrecks, and industrial machinery rub shoulders with hundreds of large-scale mural portraits, inscriptions and a plethora of esoteric formulas. Thanks to extensive work undertaken since 2020 by the multidisciplinary teams of land surveyors, TT Géomètres Experts, this post-apocalyptic artworks has now been completely digitized.
“Remarkable contemporary architecture“
Founder of Groupe Serveur, a company specializing in databases, and of its subsidiary Artprice, a global player in art market information, Thierry Ehrmann has always been a digital pioneer and has been interested in computer-generated imagery since its origins. So, despite the somewhat daunting challenge, creating a virtual duplicate of the Abode of Chaos seemed a perfectly logical step. In the end, the various lockdowns associated with the Covid-19 crisis provided a perfect opportunity for the museum to close its doors and initiate the work. It also coincided with an initiative to obtain the “Remarkable Contemporary Architecture” label, which, apart from establishing a formal architectural analysis of the Abode, sought to obtain official cultural recognition as a way of protecting his “great work” in a long-standing legal dispute with the local municipality that began in 2004.
With this in mind, Ehrmann approached architect Nicolas Detry, a specialist in the “patrimoine martyr“, because, with its scarified walls, its bricked-up windows, its floor gutted by a meteorite, the old estate has been transformed into a ‘total work of art’, drowned “in a permanent state of war”, with certain installations recalling the attacks of September 11, 2001, and major planet-damaging events such as oil spills, all surrounded by portraits and inscriptions echoing global news. Indeed, each of Ehrmann’s interventions, as well as those of his guest artists, posit new traces of our tormented era. A formal architectural analysis of the site was therefore an important step in elucidating the artist’s approach, and a highly detailed architectural survey of the property was an essential part of this process. “We decided to digitize the entire site – the 6,300 works of art, the sculptures, the volumes, the buildings, the plants, everything! – using European heritage conservation standards, with surface and volume meshing for the whole space” says Thierry Ehrmann. Nicolas Detry put him in contact with Philippe Barthélemy, head of the TTGE group’s 3D Lab.
The first meeting in July 2020 established the basis for a technical documentary project with a scientific digital dimension, geo-referenced and endowed with sub-centimeter resolution. “I have been familiar with the most advanced 3D imaging systems for twenty years. What we needed was a team of top-level land surveyors! Their role as experts in collecting spatial data is vital in recreating virtual spaces that faithfully represent real spaces, and that is what we wanted!” enthuses Thierry Ehrmann. The objective was to capture the singularity of each work, but also to create graphic illustrations allowing a better comprehension of the whole site, notably by highlighting certain recurring artistic/architectural features such as additions of materials (poured concrete, inclusions of meteorites in the facades, etc.) and the removal of certain materials. “In the real world, I used a cherry-picker to ‘sculpt’ the thousands of square meters of the site’s facades with a hammer and chisel”, explains the visual artist.
The submission date for the base project was fixed for November 2020, and a tight schedule was drawn up for the data acquisition – covering 7555 m2 out of the total 9000 m2 surface area – as well as the processing and the calibrated colorization of all the different artistic and architectural initiatives. Philippe Barthélemy worked with a team of around fifteen TTGE employees, each with their area of expertise. “We developed a specific and flexible methodology in order to manage the complexity and volume of the data produced during the acquisition process” he explains. The mission included the creation of a polygonal geo-referenced map, Lidar data acquisition, and a high-resolution photogrammetric survey of the whole site, as well as all the calculations and processing required for the creation of a resized geo-referenced 3D digital twin. Ground data was acquired using a Z+F 3D laser scanner (Zoller & Fröhlich) and a NavVis VLX mobile scanning system, with Lidar and photogrammetric surveys carried out using drones. “The technical challenge was to work with heterogeneous acquisition data and merge the results to enhance the quality of the digital twin” specifies the engineer.
Beyond the purely technical challenge, this extraordinary project involved measuring artistic and architectural initiatives accurately and proposing modes of representation that serve as real tools for understanding and documenting the works. “Land-surveying can be extremely useful in a wide variety of contexts as long as the teams adapt to the specific requirements of each site”, says Philippe Barthélémy. So, while Nicolas Detry and historian/archaeologist Raphaëlle Rivière produced their historical and archeological analysis of the site, the team from TTGE provided site and elevation plans, architectural surveys and orthophotographs, 3D models, longitudinal and transverse sections, heat maps using color gradients to highlight the additions and removal of materials, using different methods of illustration to compose eleven graphic plates to identify and highlight the major works. In short, the potential uses of digital data are numerous: measuring and documenting the evolution of the site, planning new projects, simulations, etc.
TTGE also produced 37,000 360° panoramic shots and 18,000 360° 4K and 8K videos, the time-stamped and localized files corresponding respectively to 940 GB and 1.2 TB of data. All in all, the results of their work provided a perfect base for Thierry Ehrmann’s latest project: “The idea is to make a metaverse (editor’s note: a virtual meta-universe) of the Abode“, he explains. As a first step, he asked TTGE’s innovation center to develop an interface for the general public, allowing immersive visits in virtual and augmented reality. “In this virtual environment, the public will be able to discover new aspects of the Abode, for example, by climbing safely onto the platform above the east wing, going inside certain works, and accessing the Abode’s private areas. Everyone will also be able to access the historical documentation as well as the videos”, summarizes Thierry Ehrmann.
A dynamic digital twin
A smart navigation system should be launched in the first half of 2023. “We see the metaverse as a dynamic digital twin, the challenge being to bring it to life and allow exchanges between the creator and his audience”, emphasizes Philippe Barthelemy. The recommendation engine’s algorithms will guide the “experiencer” in an intimate discovery of the artist’s approach and the connections between the works based on the experiencer’s sensitivity to the history and/or the aesthetics of the works, the techniques used and the geo-political or esoteric messages, and it will offer him/her a tailor-made route through the collections. This is the first stone of a larger metaverse, which will also offer an “agora” to host thematic events and integrate art market-related activities initiated by Artprice, and notably an NFT Marketplace (as NFT technology allows the exchange of digital works associated with a cyber register [blockchain] that is deemed to hold unfalsifiable titles of ownership).
An intelligent point becomes intelligible…
All of this might seem far removed from the job of a land surveyor… But, for Philippe Barthélémy, the advent of metaverses in the service of culture offers opportunities to a profession that will greatly benefit from the integration of new skills, particularly in AI, to position themselves in the market. “The land surveyor has the expertise to certify a point in space. With the development of digital technology, almost infinite information fields can be associated with it. In the metaverse, our objective is to transform this ‘intelligent’ point into an ‘intelligible’ point by resorting to algorithms. All of this is part of the same value chain,” he concludes.
KEY DATES & FIGURES:
The Abode of Chaos becomes an open-air museum of contemporary art (Musée l’Organe) created in 1999. It is also the head office of Artprice by Artmarket and of its parent company, Groupe Serveur (with its nine subsidiaries).
Open to the public free of charge since February 2006, the museum receives 180,000 visitors a year, 25% of whom come from abroad, and has welcomed a total of 2.21 million visitors since its opening.
Above: Thierry Ehrmann (left) and Philippe Barthélemy.
Right page: the Bassin des Vanités, the museum’s emblematic site, and its 3D mesh. Opposite, the skull from a 3D textured model
The walls of the Abode of Chaos are entirely tagged with inscriptions and portraits, street art style. An artistic dimension that the land surveyors had to integrate into their work.
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