The Bureau des Arts et Territoires


welcomes in residence the Italian artist Federica Di Carlo within the European project The Spur ETACEC 16-18, in partnership with the Atelier Brousse.

To end these 2 months residence research, on Thursday, November 23rd from 7:00 pm, in association with the Astronomical Society of Montpellier, the Tower of Babote will open its doors to welcome the performative action (share) (designed) conceived by the artist Federica Di Carlo.



“The sea is blue because you want to know why the sea is blue", is the title of the participatory event that the artist conceived for the city of Montpellier.

Using for the title a haiku written by Jack Kerouac, where the word "sky" is replaced by "sea", Federica Di Carlo invites us to deepen and investigate the theme of the border starting from the simple question that is made since children, why the sky and sea are blue.


During her period of residence, the artist went to ask to local citizens and scientists why this city was considered blue.  Most of the answers were "for the color of the sea and sky".  The sea and the sky are visible limits that unite and separate everything on earth; they dilate, shrink, invade, and define the space around them according to specific physical laws.

Starting from the blue arbitrarily attributed to the city of Montpellier, Di Carlo wondered how a colour could be transformed into a border and how, on the other hand, natural physical boundaries such as sky, sea and atmosphere could change a concept.


The public is invited to travel to the Tower of Babote*, (ancient Astronomical Observatory of the city), as a performative experience, physical and knowledge’s boundary, finally accessible.

Inside the two main rooms (the Nicolas Montviloff room and the Pierre Vauriot room), people will be welcomed by scientists in blue coats, with whom they will be able to talk, discuss and discover new points of view on the theme of the "border" and not only.


At the end of this route, in the upper hall of the tower, people are invited to take a poster created by the artist as a moment’s trace, which is represented a "blue marine-atmosphere", so defined by Di Carlo.

The image that may look at the same time a sea-sky seen from above, its actually a picture of an interstellar cloud, shot in black and white by a space telescope, which Federica has modified by adding the shade of Blue that has identified with the Montpellier’s city.

Tour de la Babote* |


The monumental historical tower of Montpellier, was originally built in the 12th century, being part of the 25 that stood in the fortified enclosure that protected the city. In 1740, the States of Languedoc vote an annual gratuity of six hundred pounds for the construction of an Observatory. A building that will be high on the basis of a tour of the ramparts. Work will be completed in 1745 and takes possession of the Academy of sciences and the Royal Society of sciences move its seat from 1757 to 1761.

After multiple destinations, in 1981, the Astronomical Society of Montpellier is set up its headquarters. Still today this association occupies this building with unique architecture.


Guest |


Bastien Nguyen-duy Bardakji
Ingénieur d'études en traitement, analyse et représentation de l'information spatiale
Opérateur de la Station de Réception Directe GEOSUD – Responsable Antenne
Maison de la Télédétection - Pôle IRD


Bernardini Maria-Grazia      


Expériences et Modélisations en Astroparticules


Lopez Jean Marie

President of Société Astronomique de Montpellier


Piron Frédéric 


Expérimentateur CNRS


Reboul Henri


Maître de Conférences émérite

Laboratoire Univers et Particules de Montpellier (UMR 5299)


© 2020 Federica Di Carlo, all rights reserved