[ISEA94] Artist Statement: Maurice Benayoun — Ils Sont Tous Lá! (Les Quarxs)

Artist Statement

The Quarxs is a 3D computer animation film about strange entities disturbing our everyday life.  Z.A. Production, France, 20’33”

One of the very first computer graphics series on TV (1991-1993) directed by Maurice Benayoun, conceived with François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters. “Faithful to the teachings of the great Masters, Claude Bernard and Tex Avery, I have been studying these animal species for many years. Their existence and origins have escaped my predecessors, as well as other long sighted observers. This rigorous work has led me to discover a surprising variety of species, which defy established physical, biological, and optic laws: the Quarxs. I think it is time to expose my discovery of such enigmas to a public keen on scientific phenomena, but short on time…” _Anonymous

First of all, the QUARXS are characters in a series of twelve computer animated films of three minutes each. Each one presents itself as a program of popularized science: the narrator, a scientist (a researcher in “comparative cryptobiology”), takes us through the evolution of his research about the Quarxs. The Quarxs are living creatures indifferent to the immutable laws of Nature. They have evolved into highly unusual forms because of their unique relationship with time, space and matter. To find out the true nature behind the Quarxs’ behaviour, a close study involving observation and experiments has been devised. In order to visibly capture such phenomena, a visual medium has especially been adapted: a mixture of video, 2D, and 3D computer graphics. In parodying popular science programs, this series constitutes a new frontier in 3D computer graphics animation, serving as a true screenplay and not merely as a demonstration using computer graphics. Broadcast in France on Canal + and France 3 (private and public French channels), the Quarxs have also proliferated many other countries all over the World, attending international competitions, winning several prizes and awards (Prix Ars Electronica, Imagina, Images du Futur, SIGGRAPH). [Source: YouTube]

Videos: Les QUARXS, Ils sont là! (montage intégral)    QUARXS (Full version) 12 episodes English

  • Maurice Benayoun (Z.A. Production) Maurice Benayoun (France,1957) teaches “Art Video and New Images” at the University of Paris. He has participated research projects about special effects and contributed new technology to audio-visual production and to the artist creativity within the Centre de Recherche et d’Etude sur le Cinema et les Arts Audiovisuel (CRECA) and the Centre de Recherche sur Image (CRI).