La Fabrique 00/01/10/11


A project by fabric | ch
in partnership with Canal+

with the support of Bit Management

In 1999, fabric | ch created La Fabrique, a digital gallery built for "the 2nd World" of Canal+ (Le 2ème Monde in French), a predecessor of 2nd Life, but in a digital and realistic copy of Paris. We designed La Fabrique to question this very banal and functional approach of 3d MMOGs (massively multiplayer online games/environments). During three years, it hosted several exhibitions, which speculative topics were relevant in our work around the end of 20th century:

A restrospective exhibit is organized at Siggraph 2010 in Los Angeles by one of the digital artists who took part to the first release of La Fabrique: Steve Guynup. Web3D technology has evolved since 1999 and plug-ins used at that time are not available anymore. So, for this event, a video of the 3d space and screenshots of the works have been released to give a hint to current visitors.

Watch the video

Watch the video

Browse the screenshots



Texts about 00/01/10/11


These texts were written between 1999 and 2001 by fabric | ch to present La Fabrique to the artists and to describe the exhibitions program to the users of the 2nd World.

La Fabrique is an electronic gallery / file system built for the binary years. It proposes to explore the digital territories through a series of online exhibitions and to experiment new kind of interactions with space, with artworks, with distant visitors, in 3d.

Theoretical context of La Fabrique

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Recombinant reality
Structure of La Fabrique

fabric | ch, 1999 (edited in 2001)




Digital Prosthesis, 1999


Access to La Fabrique 00

[Web3D plug-in for Windows]

For the first exhibition in La Fabrique, seven artists used to work with web3D or VRML technologies are invited: Andy Best, Cristiano Bianchi, Maurice Clifford, Steve Guynup, Patrick Keller & Christian Babski, Jacques Perconte, Victoria Vesna & Craig Brown.

The topic proposed to the participants by fabric | ch is Digital Prosthesis.


Digital Prosthesis

Browse the screenshots of 00




Recombinant Interiors, 2000


Access to La Fabrique 01

[Web3D plug-in for Windows]

Recombinant Interiors is the topic of the second exhibition set up in La Fabrique. Works are made by architecture students and professors of Swiss Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ -CAAD): Bence Szerdahelyi & Oliver Schwartz, Natalie Strohmaier, Lucas Elmiger & Maike Schneider, Sigrun Gudjonsdottir, Ben Hendriksen, Jan Gloeckner & Nick Thanasis, Dimitri Kaden, Adrienne Fonys & Giovanni Mammone.

The students are directed by Prof. Maia Engeli, Prof. Andrew Vande Moere and assistant Fabio Gramazio, so as Patrick Keller and Christian Babski (fabric | ch).


Recombinant interiors

Browse the screenshots of 01




Algorithmic Manipulations, 2001


Access to La Fabrique 10

[Web3D plug-in for Windows]

After architecture students, La Fabrique is opened to media & interaction design students at University of Arts and Design in Lausanne (ECAL): Emilie Renault, Stéphane Perroud, Jérôme Rigaud, Franz Hoffmann, Thomas Eberwein, Laurent Emmenegger. The topic is linked to the digitalization of the sign: Algorithmic Manipulations.

The students are directed by Prof. Patrick Keller, Prof. Christophe Guignard and Prof. Angelo Benedetto


Algorithmic manipulations

Browse the screenshots of 10




Diffused Energies, unreleased


The fourth and last exhibition in La Fabrique should have featured contemporary artists, writers and architects such as Dominique Gonzalez Foerster, Berdaguer & Péjus, Maurice Dantec or Lab[au], but it was not completed.

Different causes led to this unreleased version of La Fabrique. Most important, Canal+ decided to reduce its online team and to close the 2nd World in 2001 for budget reasons, mainly because of the explosion of the dot-com bubble.

La Fabrique remains therefore an unfinished project, keeping a potential. But we do not exclude to release La Fabrique 11 to complete the series in an indeterminate future.