maurice benayoun's web siteIs God flat ? 

In November 1994, during the Artifices 3 exhibition which presented, in Saint-Denis, twelve interactive artistic installations, Maurice Benayoun proposed the first virtual reality installation : Is God flat ? designed and produced by Z.A Production


He asks the ONYX Reality Engine 2, lent by Silicon Graphics. And the machine (usually dedicated to flight simulators...) answers in real time, extracting from brick walls, representations of God, derived from Art History. They are floating in the air towards us. However, the explorer of this virtual world must lead his quest for pious images on his own : from a room entirely bricked up, he can dig through the surrounding walls as many corridors as he wishes, which will move all along his progression. In this way, he gradually digs a labyrinth in which he masters architecture ; but it seems to have no way out.

A fruitful quest, where we can discover man's multiple representation of his Creator. But also a realistic quest, because these images reveal the lack of thickness while there are offering theirselves. The "first metaphysical video game", Jean-Paul Fargier said (Le Monde, 18/11/94). It is like in life, where everybody defines his own path and it is like the world because of flat and infinite space within which we thought, we were moving proves to be a finite and spherical space. This makes it up between Copernic and Ptolémée, by putting the spectator at the centre of the universe.

Is God flat ?

Question asked in Virtual Reality by Maurice Benayoun

Production of God : Z.A Production with the support of the FIACRE

Development : Z.A

God : Patrick Bouchaud / Richard Mercille

The machine : Silicon Graphics ONYX Reality Engine