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Thursday, March 10 – Friday, April 8

Below Victory :
Memoria Hospitis & Light

Scott Hessels

Openning March 10, 2022 at 12 am
Free access | All public

The work:

1. Below Victory: Memoria Hospitis

Below Victory: Memoria Hospitis is a series of augmented reality prints inspired by the data generated by a ground penetrating radar scan of the Gallo-Roman temple ruins below Place de la Victoire. Hong Kong-based artist Scott Hessels’ unique practice includes art + science collaborations that resemble technical field research yet often result in abstracted data visualizations in a range of media and forms. This series is the most recent of several works produced from the Below Victory dataset that has already resulted in site-specific trompe l’oeil, animations, photos, short films and hundreds of visual experiments.

3D models of the temple’s cella and courtyard, directly formed from the GPR data, are hidden in photorealistic and fantastical natural settings. An augmented reality overlay reveals thin lines of text from Blaise Pascal intersecting and running parallel with technological data about the site; these two become the reference geometry to the illusory ruin images in the prints. Philosophy and technology are bisecting and connecting hidden secrets in nature; our full history is still being revealed by new technologies and deeper learning.

Likely unaware of the ruins just below his feet, Pascal wrote of impenetrable secrets, forgotten histories, the chasm between past and future, and his insignificance in a grander timeline. He wrote, “Quand je considère la petite durée de ma vie absorbée dans l’éternité précédente et suivante – memoria hospitis unius diei praetereuntis.” Those last five words are quoted from the Book of Wisdom, written in Greek around 1BC, near the same time as the forum. They translate to “remembrance of a guest who tarried but a day.” Both Pascal and these ruins remind viewers of how short the stay on earth when compared to human history.

2. Below Victory: Light

Below Victory: Light is two custom lightboxes that present interpretations of data taken from the ground penetrating radar scan of the Place de la Victoire, built on top of ruins from the Gallo-Roman forum’s temple cella and courtyard dating back to Antiquity. A 23x23m square area was scanned to 9m deep, creating a 140 million ‘point cloud’ of the structures hidden below. Radar is a distorted and indistinct imaging tool, but in the hazy gray dataset structures could be recognized and then embellished. The scan provided information that became an underlying structure for all the individual artworks in the Below Victory art + science research, the numbers offering potential for creative expression that could enhance understanding.

The data visualization is somewhere between science that elucidates and art that inspires. The connected datapoints glow, as if discovered gold underground, and act as a metaphor for the knowledge and partnerships that have been generated by the project: the backlit data and the results of the research are both luminescent. The title itself can be read as a sentence about what was found below by the artist and the Clermont-Ferrand team.

The artist:

Scott Hessels is a Hong Kong-based artist whose works explore how emerging technologies can help us better understand our environment. His site-specific installations use sensors, robotics, GPS and adaptive materials, often in partnership with key scientific organizations. His new media films and installations have been shown internationally in exhibitions focused on both technology and fine art.

Artist website:

Artist portrait:

Le DAMIER - Oblic


Scott Hessels (USA)

Memoria Hospitis: Digital impressions in augmented reality inspired by data collected by GPR scan of the Gallo-Roman subsoil of the Place de la Victoire.

Light : Digital impressions, interpretation of data collected by GPR scan of the Gallo-Roman subsoil of the Place de la Victoire.

Trompe-l’oeil design with Zita Barber.
Art direction for print and augmented reality with Thomas Leung.
Research with Márton Tőkés.

Commission and production of VIDEOFORMES 2021/2022 created in residence with the support of the SCAN fund of the DRAC Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and the Région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Clermont Auvergne Métropole and the help of the University Clermont Auvergne and the Service Université Culture.

Executive production VIDEOFORMES: Gabriel Soucheyre, director, Éric André-Freydefont, coordination.
Scanning and GPR data: Franck Donnadieu, Laboratoire Magmas et Volcans and the Service Culture Université.
Archaeological consultant: Hélène Dartevelle, DRAC, Service Régional d’Archéologie.


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