Lectures will be in English.

Le poème électronique

Le poème électronique is the title of a multimedia performance presented in the Philips Pavilion in Brussels during the 1958 World’s Fair. The spectacular pavilion was designed by architect and painter Le Corbusier and architect and composer Iannis Xenakis.

The audience was immersed in an unprecedented multimedia experience of footage, projections of coloured planes and special sound reordings. Le Corbusier was responsible for the visual part. The Poème’s musical part was divided in two: a piece composed by Xenakis that was played upon entering and leaving the pavilion and an eight-minute long composition by Edgard Varèse.

Le poème électronique was an artistic and technological milestone and a major source of inspiration for the architects of the 1950s and 1960s. It epitomized the interwovenness of architecture and expressions of modern art. Varèse’s music is regarded as an absolute highlight in the history of electronic music.


EYE provided an entirely new digital reconstruction of Le poème électronique in collaboration with Tazelaar and De Heer. The reconstruction will be presented for the first time on Collection Day and will be introduced by Blandine Joret, assistant professor Media Studies (University of Amsterdam), Kees Tazelaar and Jan de Heer.

When the pavilion was dismantled at the end of the Expo, the installation did not survive. The film material, however, has been preserved in EYE’s collection. Architect Jan de Heer and composer Kees Tazelaar made a careful analysis of the performance as Le Corbusier had envisaged it on the basis of his original script.

The project has been realized with the support of the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, 1001 Uitgeverij and Creative Industries Fund NL.

Tickets are free and to be collected on the 27th of May, at the EYE ticket desk.