The streets of Montreal have come alive with a series of illuminated interactive wheels. Loop, an installation by artists Olivier Girouard and Jonathan Villeneuve in collaboration with Ottoblix, is part of Luminothérapie, Quebec’s largest annual competition for temporary public art installations. Also a traveling show, the display comprised of 13 different tales with 24 images each will be accessible to the public in Montreal through January 29, 2017, before moving on to the next city of the tour.
Girouard and Villeneuve envisioned Loop as an interactive display inspired by the zoetrope, a pre-film era device that displays still images in a spinning frame to achieve the illusion of motion. Following three months of design work and 800 hours of assembly, Loop emerged as a series of life-size interactive zoetropes, in which one or two people can sit. The occupants move a waist-height bar back and forth to engage a pump, which powers the spinning Loop and engages the light show.
In the background, a flickering strobe illuminates the monochrome images, a throwback to early films. The speed of the image movement, as well as the tempo of the accompanying music, is linked to the control bar, allowing art lovers to create a custom experience.
“We were inspired by the mechanical poetry of the zoetrope to give the public – thanks to digital technology – an extraordinary immersive experience,” said the designers in a statement. “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.”
Each year, Luminothérapie presents an original, interactive, captivating winter experience in Montreal’s Quartier des spectacles. The competition is meant to stimulate creativity in the design of urban installations and digital art. The display travels from Montreal to other destinations in Canada, as well as abroad in the form of other related public art contests: Impulse in Brussels and Lugano; Entre les rangs in Cergy-Pontoise, France; and Prismatica in Ottawa and Georgetown (Washington, D.C.).