DEMO30 Mathieu DeBlois – L’architecture des souvenirs

March 23

L’architecture des souvenirs, created by Mathieu DeBlois [student member, NAD-UQAC] in collaboration with Philippe Lefrançois-Racz and Romain Salha, was presented twice: at the SAT on May 16, 2022, and at the Chaufferie (UQAM) from July 1 to 6, 2022. This project is a continuation of Mathieu’s research-creation, initiated in October 2021 under the supervision of professor Yan Breuleux [coinvestigator member, NAD-UQAC] in the Master’s program in art and digital design (NAD-UQAC).

The immersive experience L’architecture des souvenirs offers a journey through virtual spaces that reinterpret actual lived experiences, transforming reality into an artistic exploration of memory. Memories composed of everyday spaces, people and objects are put into volume using different volumetric capture processes, and then assembled as a volumetric archive within the game-engine Unity. Referring to the notions of “atopia” (Roland Barthes, 1995) and “drift” (Guy Debord, 1956), Mathieu DeBlois explores virtual space as a potential realm where reality and imagination merge to create a new sensory experience. 

Captation LiDAR prise dans le Vieux-Nice

The project employed a variety of three-dimensional capture techniques, including the LiDAR sensor, built into the latest iPhones. This technique is particularly relevant to the project’s research, as it allows for live or spontaneous volume capture. 

Mathieu also opted for a method that consists in using Google Maps satellite images to reappropriate them geometrically. Specifically, this technique involves the use of the “Maps Model Importer” tool developed by Elie Michel, which allowed him to capture the volume of any site found through the satellite view in Google Maps. For this project, Mathieu captured large-scale locations that he would not have been able to capture otherwise, such as the Serranía de Hornocal, located in the province of Jujuy, Argentina, which he visited in 2017.

The installation at UQAM’s Chaufferie included an interactive projection on a round canvas as well as a virtual reality version of the experience. The collaboration between Mathieu and Philippe was crucial to the installation, thanks to the latter’s original sound composition. Philippe created moving melodies incorporating audio fragments recorded by Mathieu during the 3D capture of the sites. Algorithms programmed on Max/MSP by Philippe allowed for the music’s spatialization, while emotional and narrative research methods helped create a symbiosis between the visuals and the melodies. Furthermore, to create an immersive experience for the audience, Philippe adapted his piece for a 6.2 sound installation, with the speakers placed around the viewing area of the projection.

Démo présenté au NAD le 28 avril 2022, crédit vidéo: Yan Breuleux

In terms of interactivity, programmer Romain Salha contributed to the creation of scripts in Unity to allow the manipulation of certain audiovisual components in real time. During the experience, a designated performer or an invited audience member can control the direction of the camera with his left hand, while the movements of his right hand modulate the sound (osc) and the particle flows of the geometrical shapes.

The work also incorporates elements of glitch to convey reality’s complexity. By incorporating these elements, the work acknowledges that reality can be altered over time, that memories and emotions associated with spaces can be unexpected and unanticipated.


Mathieu DeBlois is a master’s student in volumetric cinema at the School of Digital Arts, Animation and Design of the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (NAD-UQAC) and a student member of the Hexagram Network. Mathieu conceptualizes and creates narrative dimensions through the use of immersive technologies. He is currently doing a research-creation on volumetric cinema using XR and is interested in the environment’s role in the production of narrative elements. Within his work, he pays particular attention to the impact of technologies on our cognitive processes, our environment, and our spatial, temporal, and social relationships.


  • Research Supervision: Yan Breuleux (NAD-UQAC)
  • Sound composition and MaxMSP spatialization: Philippe Lefrançois-Racz (Concordia)
  • Unity programming: Romain Salha
  • Mentor: Éric Filion (NAD-UQAC)
  • Professor: Louis-philippe Rondeau (NAD-UQAC)
  • Professor: Benoît Melançon (NAD-UQAC)