Nomadic Night

Guillaume Aubry

Deux ex machina

Location: Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, view access map
Prices and conditions

About the event

Creation and performance: Guillaume Aubry

In-situ creation for the Nomadic Nights at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain

Artist-researcher Guillaume Aubry continues his research into the aesthetic experience of sunsets by creating a third part to his cycle of performed conferences, this time dedicated to meteorological phenomena, as spectacular as they are ordinary, which he presents to the public via words and (small-scale) pyrotechnics!

Co-founder of the architectural agency Freaks and a visual artist, Guillaume Aubry already explored the fascinating topic of the sun as part of his creative doctorate RADIAN (Research in Art, Design, Innovation, Architecture in Normandy). In 2020, he asked the question: “What sound does the sun make when it sets on the horizon?” in a first conference presented at the Théâtre de Nanterre-Amandiers. In 2021, he continued the cycle with Les Météores, presented at POP, before literally inviting the public to drink the sunset in his book Sunset Cocktails published by JBE Books. In 2022, he defended his thesis “Chasing the sun”, with as its subtitle: “between comedy, drama, and tragedy, the sunset as a spectacle of the small death of the world”, at the FRAC Normandie in Caen. Invited by the Nomadic Nights, Guillaume Aubry continues his research and invites the audience, with his new performed conference Deus ex machina, to reconsider the chaos of the world through the shared experience of meteorological phenomena, spectacular and ordinary alike.

Deus ex machina is a Latin phrase meaning “a deity descended by means of a machine”, originally referring to the manifestations of the divine in ancient theater, which by extension, served as a narrative mechanism allowing the intervention of an unexpected character or event, helping the plot to unfold.

These divine manifestations of the great tragedies from Euripides to Seneca were achieved thanks to special effects evoking meteorological phenomena, for the most part spectacular: lightning, halos, thunder, wind, hail. Specially invented machines made it possible to reproduce or invoke these different phenomena, or aesthetic accidents of nature which punctuated the narrative thread.

Deus ex machina proposes to bring these different devices back into play, accompanying their implementation by readings of excerpts from popular science books, in an attempt to provide a rational explanation to each of these celestial phenomena.

Clouds, wind, lightning, thunder, and storms are guaranteed to bluster, rain, and rumble over the exhibition Breath of an Architect by Bijoy Jain / Studio Mumbai!


Guillaume Aubry was born in 1982. He lives and works between Paris and Normandy. An architect by training, he graduated from the University of Tokyo (Master’s) and the École nationale supérieure d’architecture de Paris - La Villette (DPLG). He is the co-founder of the architecture and scenography agency Freaks. He is also a visual artist and researcher, with a degree from the Beaux-Arts in Paris (and a La Seine post-diploma), as well as a Doctor of Art (Radian program). His theoretical and plastic work questions our daily, personal, and collective aesthetic experience of meteorological phenomena, sunsets in particular. He currently teaches spatial design at the École des arts décoratifs in Paris.

Practical information

Additional information

Estimated duration: 45 min.
Doors open at 6:30pm (for the first show at 7pm) and at 8:30pm (for the second show at 9pm).
Seated show, subject to availability.
Nomadic Nights begin at the time indicated: latecomers will only be allowed entry if this does not disturb the show.
The exhibition Breath of an architect by Bijoy Jain / Studio Mumbai will not be accessible during the Nomadic Night.
This event will be filmed by the Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain teams for distribution on our digital communication platforms and those of third parties authorized by us. The audience may appear in the produced content. If a person appears in the produced content and wishes to be removed, please contact the Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain at