The Place des Festivals in Montréal, Canada provides an unusual sight these days: 13 large illuminated loops have occupied the famous public space. These objects are part of the annual Luminothérapie which is Quebec´s largest competition for temporary public art installations. Most notable feature is the participation of pedestrians, who can play with the loops. The loops are a giant zoetropes, which is an optical toy, that was the ancestor of the animated film. Once activated, flickering images of 13 inspiring fairy tales come to life and can be watched by the participants.
How does the loop works?
Each loop is two metres in diameter and can be entered by two people, who can activate the installation by pulling levers. A spinning cylinder, with spokes in its running tread, adopt the function of a zoetrope and making a series of still images appear to move. Together with music, the loop creates an animation of fairy tales around the watchers. By changing the tempo at the levers the speed of the moving images and the music can be influenced. The animations are also recognizable from distance and together with video projections on two adjacent buildings, the place is illuminated by flickering lights and images.
The Luminothérapie is an association of artists, which presents interactive and captivating installations in Montréal every winter. With their work, they want to stimulate creativity in urban design and digital art. Olivier Girouard and Jonathan Villeneuve, the creators of the loops, want to encourage the people’s imagination and participation in public space.