PRISM is an interdisciplinary laboratory, jointly administered by the CNRS, Aix-Marseille University and the Ministry of Culture, which gathers researchers, university lecturers, and artists specialized in topics related to image, sound and music.

The scientific challenge of PRISM is to reveal how the audible, the visible and their interactions generate new forms of sensitive and/or formal representations of the contemporary world. Image, sound and music are hereby studied as manipulable and measurable research objects, but also in connection with artistic practices capable of transforming the reality and its discourses. Such challenging issues are addressed by integrating a large variety of disciplines spanning from physics, acoustics and signal processing, art and aesthetic sciences to medicine and neuroscience.

3D Sound
Web documentary
Man-Machine Interface
Medias and Society Health

Creations, practices
and artistic explorations

An organization in 3 axes

The laboratory is divided in three interdisciplinary axes that address issues related to the modeling and contextualization of the common research objects (sound, image, music)

Axis Perceptual engineering

This axis addresses issues related to the generative processes of sound, visual and music, in relation to the different forms of perception induced. It aims on the one hand to design sound, visual and musical creation tools and on the other hand to develop control models coherent with the subject’s feeling.

Axis Creations, practices and artistic explorations

The axis deals with the study of the processes of creation/interpretation/recreation or improvisation, artistic practices and explorations but also the interactions between research, creation and action.

Axis Applications and social, industrial and medical issues

The question studied by the axis is the following: How are certain technical or artistic devices developed or studied in PRISM both constituted (i.e., thought out and manufactured) and constitutive (i.e., how they modify our way of being in the world and of being with the other), and what are the contents of conscious experience (both rational and sensitive), which are associated with their double property of being constituted and constitutive?

Interdisciplinarity in the laboratory

The research carried out within the PRISM axes is deployed within structuring interdisciplinary programs. These actions are intended to draw on all the expertise and skills developed within the Unit. They can be considered as dynamic trajectories circulating through the 3 axes that structure the scientific animation and make transdisciplinary actions emerge.

Sounds, Music, Therapies

Ce programme structurant, d’inspiration phénoménologique, vise à prouver que la reconfiguration des contenus et des structures de conscience est à la base des effets thérapeutiques des sons et de la musique.

The language of sounds

Ce programme structurant a pour objectif de décrypter le contenu sémiotique des sons du quotidien en vue de proposer des modèles et des représentations fondés sur les lois de la perception.


« AtmosphèreS » se concentre sur une approche phénoménologique pour aborder principalement l’atmosphère dans son rapport à l’autre.

Pedagogical actions of the laboratory

The link between research and teaching is an important aspect of the life of a laboratory. The creation of PRISM has opened new actions in the field of teaching and training through research. The gathering of forces previously dispersed within the Aix-Marseille University has provided new teaching proposals and a better mutualization of means.

This great dynamic has led to the creation and restructuring of two new Master programs entirely attached to PRISM, which opened in the beginning of the academic year 2018. These Masters are natural breeding grounds for future PhD students of PRISM.