Since 1977 the once disused quarry of ‘Carrières du Val d’Enfer’ had provided large scale audio visual displays and shows, due to the research and creation of Joseph Svoboda. In 2011, Culturespaces were commissioned to take over the Carrières and renamed the site ‘Carrières de Lumières’.
Themed on the history of art, a series of audio visual shows, live shows, concerts and lectures are now being displayed in the Carrières de Lumières using a combination of high-performance technology; including a huge range of over 60 Optoma projectors.
Originally a stone quarry, Carrieres de Lumières in Les Baux-de-Provence, France, is a huge space with irregular natural and man-made rock formations. The cavern is more than 16m high in places so the installation required both the projectors and lenses used within them to be extremely flexible. As a result, a variety of projectors and lens were needed, some installed to project vertically. Long-throw lenses were needed for images to reach the roof, while short-throw lenses were used within small nooks.
The projectors also had to be visually unobtrusive, bright, able to project high quality video images in both landscape and portrait orientation and be capable of running ten hours a day for seven days a week.
Optoma’s partnership with Culturespaces started towards the end of 2012, when a series of Optoma projectors were first installed at Carrières de Lumières. Culturespaces went on to install over 60 Optoma projectors, chosen due to their reliability, colour performance, high brightness and price/quality ratio.
Amongst the projectors installed was the Optoma ProScene EH7500 and WT1 lens – chosen for the project for its ability to produce a high-quality large image from a short throw distance. Also, its brightness (6,500 lumens) and clear imagery created through the WUXGA resolution.
A number of Optoma ProScene EH505s were installed due to the projector’s wide lens shift range and off-axis short throw lens option; essential for projecting around obstacles formed by the irregular space. The EH505 includes 5,000-lumens, WUXGA resolution and image blending tools. The multiple lens options, zoom and focus adjustment ensured that installation was straightforward.
Over 30 Optoma LED+ ZW212ST projectors were installed in the former quarry; some in portrait mode to project onto the floor. The ZW212ST was the choice for the audio visual show because of its flexibility both in terms of projection capabilities and installation. The LED+ technology also offers consistent brightness and colour performance, with minimal degradation. This means the ZW212ST will maintain its out-of-the-box image quality without the need for expensive lamp changes throughout its lifetime.
Additionally, a number of other Optoma projector models were installed, including the EX785, EW775, W505 and EW610ST.
The latest show opened to the public on March 7, 2013. The show comprises thousands of digitised images of works of art that are projected onto all the former quarry’s surfaces, moving to the rhythm of a musical soundtrack.
The flexibility and reliability of the Optoma projectors has made it possible for Carrières de Lumières to run the audio visual show 10 hours a day, every day for 10 months in a year. Multiple surfaces are used in the show to give a sense of depth, whilst spectators are immersed in the projected images. The walls, ceiling and even the ground are completely covered, becoming a vast carpet of images.
The Carrières de Lumières site demonstrates that access to art can be innovative and dynamic. Spectators are totally immersed in the images projected onto all the surfaces of the rock. Work by famous artists such as Klimt and Vienna currently feature; the subjects of the films are changed each year.
Over 375,000 visitors enjoyed this approach to art during 2013. With its cross-disciplinary approach, the Carrières de Lumières is now established as a cultural entertainment site, the programming of which brings together major names in the history of art and multimedia.