Paris-based environmental artist and architect Naziha Mestaoui is a pioneer of digital art whose work creates immersive and sensory experiences by blending space, imagery and technology.
Her interactive multimedia exhibits question Western culture’s disconnection with the environment and re-center nature at the heart of cultural issues. Through her art, she invites us to use technologies to reconnect with nature, creating a dynamic that can inspire our future.
One of her most recognized projects – “One Heart, One Tree” – debuted at the United Nations Climate Conference in December 2015. Mestaoui produced grand-scale “forests of light” through interactive projections of trees that spanned Parisian monuments, including the Eiffel Tower and the Hôtel de Ville.
Spectators used their smartphones to virtually create a tree that grew at the rhythm of their heartbeat on the monuments. A real tree will be planted for each of the 52,677 virtual trees created during the event, allowing participants to become partners in reforestation.
Mestaoui’s work has been exhibited around the globe, including at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Museum of Photography in Tokyo, the Contemporary Art Biennale in Sevilla, Miami Art Basel and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Shanghai.
James Oliverio is internationally known as a creative artist, researcher, educator and producer and is a frequent keynote speaker and consultant to digital media industry and education programs. He has served as Executive Director of the Digital Worlds Institute at the University of Florida since January 2001, with full professorships in Digital Arts & Sciences and in Music. He holds five Emmy Awards from the Atlanta chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. His work has been funded by agencies including the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Science Foundation and the Reader’s Digest Foundation. His work in internationally distributed performing and digital arts has been featured on CNN International and the BBC.
Oliverio’s orchestral scores have been commissioned and premiered by ensembles including the Cleveland Orchestra and the symphonies of Atlanta, Columbus and Pittsburgh, in addition to performances at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. Oliverio has produced for and collaborated with Jazz @ Lincoln Center, the New York Philharmonic, the New York City Ballet and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and served as Artistic Consultant on a number of projects with jazz legend Wynton Marsalis. Prior to becoming the Founding Director of the Digital Worlds Institute, Oliverio served as the Artist in Residence at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and also as Founding Director of AudioLab in the Graphics, Visualization and Usability Center in the Georgia Tech College of Computing.