ZOO MACHINES (2014-2016)

Zoo Machines is a performative festival celebrating creativity, experimentation, games "out-of-borders", interdisciplinarity and social interactions. It relies on a unique and inventive community made of game developers, artists, performers, hackers, programmers, musicians, photographers, you-name-it... The core concept of the festival starts with a limited number of participants every year (around 80 people) who gathers around experimental ideas and concepts and work in different teams together. They will then produce an installation prototype of their work in less than 48 hours. During the whole festival a lot of micro-events and surprise performances take place with the participants from technical tips sharing to on-stage art performances... The last evening is dedicated to a big impromptu exhibition party where all the projects take life in the venue. A public audience is then invited to join the participants to discover and play all the installations made during the festival. This last evening is a kind of an incredible temporary exhibition + party + live stage performances. 

There is a website which has always been the best archive for most of the projects made during the previous editions of Zoo Machines if you are curious: Shake That Button.

The festival was co-founded by Marc Lavigne and myself, with local supports brought by Game-IN. The three first editions were held at L'Imaginarium, in Tourcoing (France).

Images by La Fille d'à Côté (all the watermarked pics), except the three last ones by Damien Blanchard and Lauren Higa. Zoo Machines 2016 poster by Dziff. More pictures available here.


Quote from previous participants

"Like a Burning Man without nudity and capitalism - Zoo Machines is the craziest and most welcoming creative event I've ever been to. There's a helping hand everywhere. The projects are as silly/creative/thoughtful/engaging/younameit as they come. Every single person I've met at the site was genuinely interesting."
Anonymous participant from Zoo Machines 2016

"A wonderful way to get out of our comfort zone to experiment and learn, while meeting new talented and overall adorable people in a safe, pleasant and warm environment. A valuable ambience and diversity thanks to the efforts taken by the organizers. A weekend that made me rethink my own practices and and reflect about my professional wishes."
Eole Zolli, Indie Game developer

"Zoo Machines is the most inspiring event for interactive creations. It pushes games beyond games towards pure digital art beauty. Zoo machine is a human and digital LSD trip to creativity."
Matthieu Muller, Field Engineer at Unity Technologies

"Clay, wood, plastic: no matter the material, the participants at Zoo Machines will miraculously transform it into an experience you probably haven't had before."
Chris Priestman, Web Editor at Kill Screen and Freelance Writer for the Guardian