Press release - For immediate release
Montréal, October 12 2016 – The Luminothérapie 2016-2017 competition, Quebec’s largest competition for temporary public art installations, is now complete. The Quartier des Spectacles Partnership is pleased to present the work that will animate the Place des Festivals from December 8 2016 to January 29 2017 : Loop, a creation by Ekumen, designed and produced by Olivier Girouard, Jonathan Villeneuve and Ottoblix in collaboration with Générique Design, Jérôme Roy and Thomas Ouellet Fredericks.

The Place des Festivals will shimmer with the mechanical poetry of Loop's 13 giant zoetropes. The interactive, participatory work is sure to warm visitors of all ages, who will be asked to activate the cylinders in order to make fairy tale-inspired images come to life. At the centre of each zoetrope is a music box to provide accompaniment for the giant animated drawings.

With the devices activated, the 13 rings of coloured light will each present a story lasting a few seconds: a toad becomes a prince, the wolf blows the three little pigs’s house, scary eyes appear in the dark. These illustrations, as well as the video projection, are by Ottoblix and will spark the imagination and memories of kids and adults alike.

“The experience offered by Loop is universal, just like the illustrated imagery seen in the zoetropes and video projection. The jury was also impressed by the installation’s participatory and physical element,” said Rami Bebawi, an architect at Kanva Architecture and the chair of the Luminothérapie 2016 jury. “The connection between fairy tales and childhood is made both in the animation triggered by turning on the zoetrope, and in the physical components of the work, particularly the music box that plays the soundtrack.”

Loop : an illuminated, participatory, audio-video installation designed for public

The work is inspired by the zoetrope, an optical toy invented in the 19th century. Loop is a cross between a music box, a zoetrope and a railway handcar. The retro-futuristic machine, more than two metres in diameter, creates animated fairy-tale loops. Through the combined efforts of members of the public working the hand lever, the image cylinder lights up and creates the illusion of motion in the drawings.

The black and white images, tinted through a strobe effect, recall the earliest movies and are visible inside the cylinder as well as outside it, so that they can be watched from close up or far away. The speed at which the images fly by, the frequency at which the light flickers and the rhythm of the audio composition are all directly related to the pace set by the participants, who can be of any age.

Luminothérapie, a unique winter competition

As it does every year, Luminothérapie presents an originale, interactive and captivating winter experience in Montreal's Quartier des Spectacles, with a major installation for the Place des Festivals. For this year’s 7th edition, designers were asked to work with a fairy-tale theme to create a work that would inspire a sense of wonderment, day or night, and that would be open to participation from a broad audience, including families. Architectural video projections for two building façades overlooking the Place des Festivals – UQAM’s Président-Kennedy building and the Wilder Building (Espace danse) – are integrated into the primary work’s narrative framework, resulting in a unified concept.

The winning team was chosen from among 28 teams that submitted proposals. All proposals submitted are available on the Quartier des Spectacles website, along with the competition rules, evaluation criteria and list of jury members for the 7th annuel competition.


A work by Ekumen, designed by Olivier Girouard, Jonathan Villeneuve, and Ottoblix in collaboration with Générique Design, Jérôme Roy and Thomas Ouellet Fredericks.


EKUMEN is a Montreal-based production company working in the audio and media arts. For the last decade, the organization has been highlighting sound in a variety of settings, including concerts, installations and stage productions.


Olivier Girouard goes off the beaten path to find inspiration for his works: a link between two co-occurring ideas; a sound profile undergoing a transformation. He strives to reinvent our relationship with hearing, by working with artists in dance and visual arts. A producer and promoter of audio works, he is the artistic director of Ekumen. He has won several awards, including first prize of the Hugh Le Caine Prize (2008) presented by the Socan Foundation, and the JTTP first prize (2009). His works have been presented in North America, South America and Europe.


Jonathan Villeneuve is an artist with DIY sensibilities who creates poetic machines by assembling familiar materials and giving them new functions. His works move, emit light and make sounds, allowing viewers to come to their own conclusions about the device’s imaginary function. He is a graduate of the media and visual arts program at UQAM (2006) and of the MFA/Open Media program at Concordia University (2009). His solo work has been presented regularly in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada. As well as participating in numerous collaborative digital-art projects presented at festivals and events in Europe, in June 2014 he presented his solo work at the International Triennial of New Media Art at the National Museum of China in Beijing. In September 2015, he unveiled a monumental digital public artwork,Le grand bleu du Nord, created for the new multi-purpose arena in Quebec City.


Founded in 2004, the company has more than a decade of experience with multidisciplinary projects. Ottoblix has built a loyal clientele by being creative, attentive to client needs and by creating custom teams for each project.


The studio designs specialized objects for digital art, interactive design and public installations. It has worked on several projects in collaboration with the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, including Maëstro (Atomic3), Les 21 Balançoires/21 Swings (Daily tous les jours), Impulsion (Lateral Office and CS Design, Luminothérapie 2015-16).


The Quartier des Spectacles is Montreal’s cultural heart, boasting North America’s most concentrated and diverse group of cultural venues. The district is the year-round host to countless festivals and events, many of which include free outdoor shows and activities. The Quartier hosts innovative urban installations involving cutting-edge lighting design, immersive environments or interactive digital spaces. Thanks to the Place des Festivals and the permanent video projection sites used exclusively for artistic content, the Quartier des Spectacles is an exceptional canvas for creators. The Quartier des Spectacles is an international showcase for new multimedia technology, making Montreal a global leader in the urban exhibition of digital content.

- 30 -


Loop :

For more information about the competition and a list of previous winners, see the Luminothérapie press kit



Marie Lamoureux | | 514 923-6772