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Crowds exhibition at the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie

Dive into the heart of the captivating temporary exhibition entitled "Crowds" at the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie. This experience offers you both observation and action to understand the multiple phenomena linked to crowds, thanks to ingenious scenography.

Date: From October 18, 2022 to January 7, 2024

Desires: Adults and Children, experience, society, anthropology, technology, science, games.

How are compact crowds at large gatherings studied? What invisible rules do we unconsciously follow when we circulate among others? How are opinion movements formed and spread on social networks?At the crossroads of many scientific disciplines such as fluid mechanics, granular physics, mathematics, cognitive sciences and sociology, the study of crowds, whether compact, dilated or at a distance, provides contemporary insight that dissipates prejudices and reconciles us with the notion of the crowd.

Exhibition Crowds La villette
Crowds at the City of Sciences and Industry

What is the crowd and what reactions does it provoke in us? It is the individuals interacting that define it. Among the others, they are transported by enthusiasm or tossed in all directions. Often attacked, the crowd is a strange creature. The exhibition highlights certain mechanisms and reveals the fundamental principles of physical crowd movements, thus deconstructing the negative image that has been associated with it for too long.Among the others, we are transported by enthusiasm or tossed in all directions. From these interactions emerge collective phenomena meticulously dissected by the exhibition "Foules".

Here's an overview:

Prelude: Crowd samples. Whether it's a dense, compact, dispersed or airy crowd, an art installation will allow you to determine what type of crowd you are dealing with on a scale of 0 to 10, immediately immersing you in the heart of the subject.

Compact crowds: When you gain height, a very dense crowd resembles a pile of compressed grains... and ultimately obeys the same physical laws. There's no denying that the crowd drives, even without a physical push. The scientists will give you some advice on how to escape, explaining how to make gatherings more fluid and facilitate emergency evacuations. You will discover all the creativity they show in carrying out their experiments.Pedestrian crowds: An analysis of what we do every day without thinking about it: moving among others, maintaining an adequate distance from our neighbors. This is an opportunity to share fascinating studies on human behavior, but also on animals, and even on the imaginary characters populating crowds in cinema and video games.

Digital crowds: Even when individuals are physically distant, we can speak of a crowd as long as they communicate. Whether through word of mouth, when they sing in chorus or interact on social networks. The exhibition looks at how social networks work and how they open us up to the unknown or lock us into our prejudices.

The bad reputation: Although it is true that collective movements can sometimes be the scene of the worst, they also generate solidarity and a form of collective intelligence. This is what the audiovisual show “La Bad Reputation” demonstrates, which combines historical, sociological, political, psychological and anthropological approaches. It is also an opportunity to question the notion of panic in crowd situations.This exhibition was produced in collaboration with Mehdi Moussaïd, a French researcher and videographer currently working at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Germany, where he focuses on collective human behavior. Mehdi Moussaïd also has his own YouTube channel: Fouloscopie.Mehdi Moussaïd invited two videographers, Léa Bello and Cyrus North, to visit the exhibition a few days before its opening to the public. From surprises to discoveries, the trio explores this space designed as a laboratory, experiments, questions and learns. Flamboyance, parliament, nudge, song, transgression... so many terms encountered during their exploration.Rest assured, their visit only reveals a small part of the 900 m² of the exhibition. They present some key elements and anecdotes to help you understand and contextualize certain museum systems.

Will you also be able to find Charlie? And spot the graffiti left by Mehdi, Léa and Cyrus? To meet this challenge, immerse yourself in the world of "Foules" !

Date: From October 18, 2022 to January 7, 2024

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