Projects: Montreal’s Arts District Adds More Projection-Mapped Buildings, Interactive Seesaws

December 10, 2015 by Dave Haynes


The arts quarter of the amazing city of Montreal has been a visual treat for a few years, owing to various temporary and permanent installations that use lighting and projection. But that gets amped up starting tonight, with  a program that runs through the end of January.

Called Impulse, the winter installation sees several buildings transformed through projection mapping and 30 giant seesaws that turn the Place des Festivals into a vast, illuminated playground.

“Every year, we are eager to give Montrealers a new creative winter experience in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles,” says Chantal Rossi, Ville de Montréal Associate Councillor Culture, Heritage and Design. “Luminothérapie’s public installations transform our relationship with the city, beautify it, and give it a wonderful friendly touch. Luminothérapie also keeps Montreal shining bright around the world as a hub of interactive art.” 



The creation is the work of Toronto-based firm Lateral Office and Montreal-based CS Design, in collaboration with EGP Group, also of Montreal.

The consortium was selected through an open competition for what is the sixth annual Luminothérapie event. Along with visual treats, the event has music, food trucks and fireplaces to warm hands and butts.

The giant illuminated and sound-producing seesaws are activated by people straddling the seats. Once in motion, the built-in lights and speakers produces a harmonious sequence of sounds and lights.


And now for some art-speak from the press release:

Through the use of architectural lines, a hypnotic soundtrack and an entertaining illusion of depth, the nine architectural video projections echo the seesaws of the Place des Festivals. Playing with the notions of balance and unbalance, symmetry and asymmetry, tension and harmony, the video projections are visual experiments illustrating the original soundtrack created for each video.

Umm … OK.

IMPULSE is an urban installation that renews itself for every different audience. Each person becomes, while on the seesaws, the player of a novel instrument.

Luminotherapie Impulsion 2_Photo Ulysse Lemerise_OSA

Looks like a lot of fun, particularly if Montreal doesn’t get whacked, as it often does, by many feet of snow, and bone-chilling temperatures. So far, winter hasn’t turned up in the great city up the highway from me.

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