Common Space ?

Common Space ?

Information on the activity

October 1, 2015 to October 18, 2015



A co-production of :

Common Space? is a tour of eight new works displayed at various sites in Montreal’s Quartier des Spectacles from October 1 to 18, 2015. It is the outcome of a creative process that merges the talent of 13 artists from seven countries, as they explore the question of humans at the heart of technology. Common Space? is an NFB, Quartier des Spectacles Partnership and MUTEK co-production, and is part of the much larger Human Futures project, produced with the support of the European Union’s Culture Programme.


When: October 1, 3, 8 and 15 at 7 p.m.
Where: At the main entrance of la Grande Bibliothèque, 475 de Maisonneuve Blvd. East
Running time: About 90 min
Language: French, except on October 3 (English)
Cost: Free – Reservation required

To reserve

Download the PDF map here


Poème mécanique

Tobias Ebsen (Danemark)
Espace culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme de la Place des Arts

This electromechanical sound sculpture is made from a thousand mirror disks that revolve around a central axis to create a delicate symphony. Simply stand in the centre of the circle to experience music like you’ve never heard it before. Surrounded by sound, you’ll feel entirely cut off from the world—while standing right in the middle of a public space.

Schedule for Espace culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme, Place des Arts :
Monday to Friday: 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Saturday: 5:30 a.m. to 1:15 a.m.
Sunday: 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.

End of Broadcast

Daniel Iregui (Canada)
Marquee of Place des Arts

We are constantly bombarded with images and information, surrounded by media and hyper-connected to the world. Everything we see and hear remains stored in our memory, affecting it in countless ways. End of Broadcast is an interactive installation representing a brief moment of disconnection, where the only way of staying connected is through memories. Move your hands in front of the screen to see video fragments of live TV broadcast that you can control with your movements. This need for interaction is a metaphor for our inability to disconnect.

Schedule for the marquee of Place des Arts :
8:15 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.


Michel de Broin (Canada)
Video projection on the façade of Théâtre Maisonneuve

Life on earth began with an erotic show in which nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen and potassium intertwined in an opening dance. Three billion years later, due to humanity, organic activity on earth has deflated; the orgy is coming to an end. We are entering the Molysmocène period, the era of trash... But what if a new lifeform were born from the soup of capitalism’s discarded leftovers? The artist wishes to thank the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.

Schedule for outdoor projections:
Friday and Saturday: 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.
From Sunday to Thursday: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

A Side Man 5000 Adventure

Darsha Hewitt and Nelly-Ève Rajotte (Canada)

The Wurlitzer Side Man 5000, created in 1959, is the oldest “beat box” and heaviest portable musical instrument in the world. Darsha Hewitt explores the aesthetic and innovative potential of reviving the Side Man by presenting this fascinating machine along with tutorial videos explaining how it works. Meanwhile, Nelly-Ève Rajotte offers a lush and immersive multi-projection experience that exposes the complex and unique workings of the Wurlitzer Side Man 5000, accompanied by a composition of sound bites from this instrument.

Specific schedule for the Goethe-Institut:
Outdoor projections:
Saturday, Sunday and Monday: 6:30 p.m. to midnight
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: 9:15 p.m. to midnight
Friday: 8:15 p.m. to midnight

Monday to Friday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Unintended Emissions

The Critical Engineering Working Group | Bengt Sjölén (Sweden), Danja Vasiliev (Russia) et Julian Oliver (New Zealand)
Video projection on the wall outside Saint-Laurent metro station

Did you know your mobile phone is constantly talking behind your back? Without any action on your part, it emits a surprising amount of information into the environment. Unintended Emissions captures, dissects, uses and maps—in real time—the involuntary and invisible emissions of our mobile devices.

Schedule for outdoor projections:
Friday and Saturday: 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.
From Sunday to Thursday: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.


Sébastien Pierre and Daniel Canty (Canada)
Starts at Saint-Laurent metro station

Rediscover Montreal with this interactive tour. Using your smartphone as a compass, decode 72 fragments of a hidden history by exploring the 16 sites of the Quartier des Spectacles, and reconstruct the past, present and future. Consult the map of the area, follow the symbols to reach the different sites and look around: codes on the ground will reveal snippets of history. To begin the experience, locate the Îles invisibles terminals in the Quartier des Spectacles and follow the instructions.

Schedule for Les îles invisibles:
All the time

We're all friends here

Sam Meech (United Kingdom) in collaboration with Marilène Gaudet (Canada)
Place de la Paix and Centre de design de l’UQAM

Sam Meech presents a series of works reflecting the experiences of downtown Montrealers and casts a critical eye on the role of the arts in a changing urban environment. Through interviews and a visual search of the Quartier des Spectacles, he records and creatively reimagines the ideas, experiences and iconography of those who live there, in the form of traditional jacquard knits.

At Place de la Paix, participate in Crossed Lines, a reactive knitted wave that visually represents these interviews. Listen to them from a phone booth, and leave your own message; your voice will join the others in the knitting on the projection’s facade. Then notice the banner signs all around you that were created in collaboration with Marilène Gaudet, featuring details taken from the neighbourhood’s iconography.

At the UQAM Centre de design, view Ceci n’est pas un spectacle, a “knitted movie” that translates the ideas and experiences gathered during the interviews into patterns, symbols and statements that appear in glorious low-resolution knitted form.

Forgot your password?

Aram Bartholl (Germany)
Video projection on the façade of the Grande Bibliothèque (BAnQ)

In the summer of 2012, Yahoo’s Voice service was hacked and a collective by the name of D33Ds dumped its entire database on the Internet, including 450,000 user passwords. This public exposure of what are normally secret passwords raises questions about our online lives.

Schedule for outdoor projections:
Friday and Saturday: 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.
From Sunday to Thursday: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

With the support of :

The co-producers wish to thank the Goethe-Institut for hosting A Side Man 5000 Adventure, Place des Arts for hosting End of Broadcast and Poème mécanique and the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal for its collaboration in the creative process of Michel de Brouin’s work Molysmocène.