colours Montreal’s winter
Loop’s giant illuminated wheels take over the Place des festivals
This winter the Quartier des spectacles Partnership invites Montrealers and visitors to discover Loop, an original installation on the Place des Festivals, in the Quartier des spectacles. The work, which will be presented until January 29, consists of 13 giant zoetropes – an optical toy that was a forerunner of animated film. When a zoetrope is activated, images are shown in rapid succession, creating the illusion of motion.
This illuminated musical installation, featuring a distinctive retro-futuristic look, uses cylinders two metres in diameter. Members of the public are invited to sit down inside and activate the mechanism, causing beautiful images inspired by 13 fairy tales to come to life. It’s magical! Loop is sure to spark children’s imagination and revive their parents’ childhood memories.
Loop is a cross between a music box, a zoetrope and a railway handcar – the familiar pump-powered vehicles from Bugs Bunny cartoons. The retro-futuristic machine plays animated fairy-tale loops set in motion when visitors work the lever together. When the cylinder starts spinning, it lights up, making the series of still images appear to move. A flickering strobe effect accompanies the black and white images, like in the very first movies. The animation is visible from inside or outside the cylinder and can be viewed from up close or far away. The speed at which the images move, the frequency of the flickering and the tempo of the music are determined by how fast the participants move the lever.
Loop is sure to spark children’s imagination and revive their parents’ childhood memories.
Superb video projections by Ottoblix will be shown on two buildings overlooking the Place des Festivals: UQAM’s Pavillon Président-Kennedy and, for the first time, the side of the new Wilder Building Espace Danse. The projections feature characters and evocations of the mysterious settings of fairy tales, as well as a series of images representing the looping nature of zoetrope movies.
Loop invites you to feel childlike wonder and get some exercise. Experience winter in the city differently.
Place des Festivals, until January 29, 2017
Sunday through Wednesday: noon to 10 pm
Thursday through Saturday: noon to 11 pm
Designers: Olivier Girouard, Jonathan Villeneuve and Ottoblix
Contributors: generique design, Jérôme Roy and Thomas Ouellet Fredericks
Produced by Ekumen and the Quartier des spectacles Partnership.
• 13 giant wheels
• 13 different tales, with 24 images each
• 800 hours of assembly and three months of design work
• 115 kg of screws (22,000 in all)
• 20 suppliers throughout Quebec, located in Montreal, Terrebonne, Mirabel, Chicoutimi, Bromont, Plessisville, Saint-Hyacinthe and Laval
• 15 dedicated volunteers
“Luminothérapie is a superb cultural experience in the middle of our winter, in the heart of downtown Montreal. This temporary installation will delight Montrealers and visitors with its marriage of cutting-edge technology and top creative talent. I want to thank the designers and the Quartier des spectacles Partnership for giving us another large-scale work that will make all Montrealers proud of their city.”
Denis Coderre, mayor of Montreal
“We were inspired by the mechanical poetry of the zoetrope to give the public – thanks to digital technology – an extraordinary immersive experience. It will be interesting to see how each person responds, but in any case we want to stimulate everyone’s imagination and encourage all to participate, helping people see public space differently. Loop looks simple, but it is technically complex. It is not the work of one person, but of an imaginative and enthusiastic team. Without them, the project could not have been completed.”
Olivier Girouard and Jonathan Villeneuve, designers of Loop
“Year after year, Luminothérapie keeps getting better, surprising us with daring and original works. Montrealers have the privilege of being part of a renaissance in temporary public art. The Partnership is very proud to provide an exceptional showcase for local artists, who are not only getting exposure locally, but are increasingly acclaimed in other countries thanks to the export of their work.”
Jacques Primeau, chair, Quartier des spectacles Partnership
Luminothérapie: A unique winter competition
Luminothérapie is Quebec’s largest competition for temporary public art installations. Each year, Luminothérapie presents an original, interactive, captivating winter experience in Montreal’s Quartier des spectacles, with a major installation in the Place des Festivals. Luminothérapie aims to stimulate creativity in the design of urban installations and digital art.
Luminothérapie is Quebec’s largest competition for temporary public art installations.
Several cities around the world have shown interest in the event, which has become a springboard for international tours of works created in the Quartier. In the coming weeks, three works produced for previous editions of Luminothérapie will be enjoyed abroad and elsewhere in Canada: Impulse in Brussels and Lugano; Entre les rangs in Cergy-Pontoise, France; and Prismatica in Ottawa and Georgetown (Washington, D.C.).
About the Quartier des spectacles
The Quartier des spectacles is Montreal’s cultural heart, boasting North America’s most concentrated and diverse group of cultural venues. The district is the year-round host to countless festivals and events, many of which include free outdoor shows and activities. The Quartier hosts innovative urban installations involving cutting-edge lighting design, immersive environments or interactive digital spaces. The Quartier des spectacles is a showcase for new multimedia technology, making Montreal a global leader in the field. For more information, visit quartierdesspectacles.com
Olivier Girouard goes off the beaten path to find inspiration for his works: a link between two co-occurring ideas; a sound profile undergoing a transformation. He strives to reinvent our relationship with hearing, by working with artists in dance and the visual arts. A producer and promoter of audio works, he is the artistic director of Ekumen. He has won several awards, including first prize of the Hugh Le Caine Prize (2008) presented by the SOCAN Foundation, and the JTTP first prize (2009). His works have been presented in North America, South America and Europe.
Jonathan Villeneuve is an artist with DIY sensibilities who creates poetic machines by assembling familiar materials and giving them new functions. His works move, emit light and make sounds, allowing viewers to come to their own conclusions about the device’s imaginary function. He is a graduate of the media and visual arts program at UQAM (2006) and of the MFA/Open Media program at Concordia University (2009). His solo work has been presented regularly in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada.
As well as participating in numerous collaborative digital-art projects presented at festivals and events in Europe, in June 2014 he presented his solo work at the International Triennial of New Media Art at the National Museum of China in Beijing. In September 2015, he unveiled a monumental digital public artwork, Le grand bleu du Nord, created for the new multi-purpose arena in Quebec City.
Founded in 2004, the company has more than a decade of experience with multidisciplinary projects. Ottoblix has built a loyal clientele by being creative, attentive to client needs and by creating custom teams for each project.
Ekumen is a Montreal-based production company working in the audio and media arts. For the last decade, the organization has been highlighting sound in a variety of settings, including concerts, installations and stage productions.
The studio designs specialized objects for digital art, interactive design and public installations. It has worked on several projects in collaboration with the Quartier des spectacles Partnership, including Maëstro (Atomic3), Les 21 Balançoires/21 Swings (Daily tous les jours), Impulsion (Lateral Office and CS Design, Luminothérapie 2015-16).
Thomas Ouellet Fredericks
Thomas Ouellet Fredericks has been a digital artist since the Y2K bug. He has worked with sound, images, interactivity, pigs, cockroaches, lobsters, goldfish and emotional sofas. Above all, he is driven by the pleasure of creating art and sharing his knowledge. He teaches at UQAM and has contributed to several open-source applications, including Arduino, Processing, Pure Data and Wiring. He has also written much pedagogical material in French, available for free online. He loves lasagna.
Images: Ulysse Lemerise/OSA Images