VIDEO. Come and draw in a digital cave in Mayenne

Thanks to Paléograph, you can draw like cavemen at the Museum of Prehistory in Thorigné-en-Charnie (Mayenne). ©Sable News

In absence ofexit ideas tall Feasts of All Saints ? Why not a trip to Prehistoric Museum IN Thorigné-en-Charnie (Mayenne)?

The site offers various activities before its annual closure on Monday 14 November 2022.

Among them, a comprehensive installation unique to be discovered in Europe, Paléograph’ #2. Immersed in the dark, I tested for you the experience offered by this almost five meter tall digital wall.

Inside a virtual cave

In the heart of the museum, you have to push aside the heavy curtains to immerse yourself in the large dark room where the Paleograph is kept. On a small screen, we are told how the installation works.

The large, slightly curved canvas shows the interior of a cave. All around us the sound of water drops echoes as they fall. If only we were there!

I am invited to put my hand on the canvas. Like cavemen, I leave my palm print on the wall. Then I can draw whatever I want on it as if I were holding a coal between my fingers.

About 4000 photos

An activity “which is very popular with the young and the old. This allows us to create a collective work together,” comments Ulrich Fromy, site manager.

Before you specify: “it is a device that is not intended to be scientific, but rather artistic about the symbolism of gesture”.

An installation highlighting the drawings found in the caves of Saulges.
An installation highlighting the drawings found in the caves of Saulges. ©Sable News

A loop of sequences lasting five to ten minutes of rotation. He specifically refers to the drawings of birds found in Margot Cave in Saulges.

At the beginning of the experience, you were in the Mayenne-Sciences cave, which is not open to the public. It was reconstructed in 3D thanks to the capture of about 4000 photographs. She is particularly known for her drawings of horses.

Ulrich Fromy, head of the Museum of Prehistory

A Swiss system adapted for the museum

Paléograph’ was born from the imagination of Anne Dubos, visual artist, and Jan Schacher, professor at the Haute École des Arts de Zurich.

This is a unique device in Europe around Paleolithic parietal art. Jan had first introduced his Immersive Laboratory in Switzerland, which works on the same principle as Paleograph’, but in 360°.

This is the first time that the device has been used outside of Switzerland and outside of a university setting to reach us. “It was specially adapted for the museum,” explains Ulrich Fromy.

Before the web, virtual reality headsets

Before Paloégraph’ #2, it was a first installation that was tested inside the museum in 2018-2019.

We provided a virtual reality helmet with a sensor in the hands to interact on a wall. Feedback from visitors was very positive.

But the disadvantage, “is that the experience was closed and lived individually. It didn’t have this participatory side that we find with the web today. Here, it’s an experience that can be enjoyed as a family. »

Paléograph’ #2 was installed in the fall of 2020, but due to sanitary conditions, the canvas was opened to the public only a year ago.

If you haven’t tried it yet, now is the time to take advantage of it!

Museum of Prehistory, 650, chemin de la Roche Brault in Thorigné-en-Charnie. Contact at 02 43 90 51 30.
Paléograph’ #2 can be visited with free access, the animation included in the price of the entrance ticket. For those who wish to know more about the history of this installation, special tours are scheduled for this Friday, October 28 and Friday, November 4. at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.

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