Maurice Benayoun

Visual Artist
(Updated on 01/16/2013)

Maurice Benayoun (aka MoBen) (b. 29 March 1957 in Mascara, Algeria) is a French pioneer new-media artist and theorist based in Paris. His work employs various media, including (and often combining) video, immersive virtual reality, the Web, wireless technology, performance, large-scale urban art installations and interactive exhibitions. In the 1980s Benayoun directed video installations and short films about contemporary artists, including Daniel Buren, Jean Tinguely, Sol LeWitt and Martial Raysse. In 1993, he received the Villa Medicis Hors Les Murs for his Art After Museum project, a virtual reality contemporary art collection. After 1994 Benayoun was involved with more virtual-reality and interactive-art installations. One important work from this period includes The Tunnel under the Atlantic, finished in 1995. In 1997 he creates with Jean-Baptiste Barrière World Skin, a Photo Safari in the Land of War, an immersive installation, often mentionned as a reference in virtual art, which was awarded with the Golden Nica, Ars Electronica 1998. Benayoun conceived and directed the exhibition Cosmopolis, Overwriting the City (2005), a giant art and science immersive installation presented for French Year in China in Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu and CongQing. In 2008 Maurice Benayoun submitted his blog, The Dump, a dump of undone art projects, as a doctorate thesis entitled: Artistic Intentions at Work, Hypothesis for Committing Art at Université Paris 1, la Sorbonne. The Phd received the “mention très honorable” (the highest distinction in the French academic system). He considers his recent works as a form of Open Art, paraphrasing Jon Ippolito, not limited to the traditional forms, media and economic schemes of art.


Maurice Benayoun took part in the 2012 Zero 1 Biennial (San José, California).

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