Winners of Montreal’s annual Luminothrapie competition announced

The Quartier des Spectacles Partnership recently announced the two works to be presented for the fifth annual Luminothérapie event, from December 10, 2014 to February 2, 2015. Visitors to Montreal’s Place des Festivals will be dazzled by a giant kaleidoscope called Prismatica by the Toronto architecture firm RAW Design, the first Luminothérapie competition winners from outside Quebec. Meanwhile, the Quartier’s eight video projection sites will be lit up by a digital carnival called Fascinoscope devised by Lüz Studio, a Montreal-based visual design studio. There is also a major new development this year: audience interaction will be taken further than ever with a set-up that will allow the public to play games on the projection surface outside the Saint-Laurent metro station.

“Luminothérapie allows us to offer both fertile ground for creators to experiment and a fun experience for Montrealers and visitors,” said Jacques Primeau, chair of the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership’s board of directors. “This year’s works will help create a magical atmosphere in the Quartier des Spectacles this winter, making it a prime destination.”

“I am proud that Montréal’s growing status in the field of creative and digital installations is attracting so much interest from talented creators, who are entering design competitions in impressive numbers. In the process, they are helping Montréal strengthen its position as a UNESCO City of Design. I want to thank the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership and everyone whose ideas and talent are making our cultural metropolis shine, encouraging the emergence of new talent both here and elsewhere,” said Manon Gauthier, the Ville de Montréal’s executive committee member responsible for culture, heritage, design, Space for Life and the status of women.

Prismatica by Toronto’s RAW Design is an immersive installation comprised of 50 pivoting prisms that will transform the Place des Festivals into a colourful ice palace – a giant kaleidoscope through which visitors can wander and observe the Quartier des Spectacles through a new lens. Glimmering under natural light by day or by atmospheric lighting by night, the prisms will create overlapping transparencies, patterns and reflections on their surroundings. Visitors will be able to interact with the installation by turning the giant prisms, causing mesmerizing transformations of countless colours. The prisms, measuring two metres tall, are made of polycarbonate panels laminated with a dichroic film that transmits and reflects every colour of the visible spectrum, varying with the position of the light source and the observer. The prisms will be mounted on bases that contain light projectors and speakers. As they pivot, they will create polychromatic effects accompanied by an ambient soundtrack. Through the interplay of these various sources of light and sound, magic will emerge.

Fascinoscope by Montreal’s Lüz Studio includes a soundtrack by XS, la petite boîte à musique, and will immerse visitors in the captivating atmosphere of an early-20th-century carnival, remixed for the digital age. Starting at nightfall, eight building façades in the Quartier will come alive with the sights and sounds of a carnival and its attractions, with a unique atmosphere at each of the sites. The work’s heart is the space outside Saint-Laurent metro station, which will be transformed into an arcade with four interactive games inspired by carnival classics. For game controls there will be four pear balls fitted with sensors that will measure the balls’ rotation and speed. By hitting the balls, players will interact with the video projection, earn points and try to win the game. 

Luminothérapie is Québec’s largest competition for temporary installations. Organized in two parts, its purpose is to present an original interactive wintertime experience for visitors to the Quartier des Spectacles, and to stimulate creativity in urban installations and digital art. It is the only time of year when all video projection sites in the Quartier feature the work of a single creator. This year, there were 45 proposals for the section aimed at showcasing and enlivening Places des Festivals. There were 10 proposals for the section focusing on the design and production of video projections for eight building façades in the Quartier des Spectacles, including one interactive production.

The total budget allocated for the first component is $225,000. The budget for the second component is $100,000.

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