Loop’s Giant Illuminated Wheels Take Over the Place des Festivals


This winter the Quartier des spectacles Partnership invites Montrealers and visitors to discover Loop, an original installation on the Place des Festivals, on the Quartier des spectacles. The work, which will be presented from December 8 to January 29, consists of 13 giant zoetropes – an optical toy that was a forerunner of animated film. When a zoetrope is activate, images are shown in rapid succession, creating the illusion of motion.

This illuminated musical installation, featuring a distinctive retro-futuristic look, uses cylinders two metres in diameter. Members of the public are invited to sit down inside and activate the mechanism, causing beautiful images inspired by 13 fairy tales to come to life. It’s magical! Loop is sure to spark children’s imagination and revive their parents’ childhood memories.

Loop is a cross between a music box, a zoetrope and a railway handcar – the pump-powered vehicles familiar from Bugs Bunny cartoons. The retro-futuristic machine plays animated fairy-tale loops set in motion when visitors work the lever together. When the cylinder starts spinning, it lights up, making the series of still images appear to move. A flickering strobe effect accompanies the black and white images, like in the very first movies. The animation is visible from inside or outside the cylinder and can be viewed from up close or far away. The speed at which the images move, the frequency of the flickering and the tempo of the music are determined by how fast the participants move the lever.


Superb video projections by Ottoblix will be shown on two buildings overlooking the Place des Festivals: UQAM’s Pavillon Président-Kennedy and, for the first time, the side of the new Wilder Building Espace Danse. The projections feature characters and evocations of the mysterious settings of fairy tales, as well as a series of images representing the looping nature of zoetrope movies.

Loop invites you to feel childlike wonder and get some exercise. Experience winter in the city differently.

Place des Festivals, December 8, 2016 to January 29, 2017
Sunday through Wednesday: noon to 10 p.m.
Thursday through Saturday: noon to 11 p.m.

Loop is…
13 giant wheels
13 different tales, with 24 images each
800 hours of assembly and three months of design work
115 kg of screws (22,000 in all)
20 suppliers throughout Quebec, located in Montreal, Terrebonne, Mirabel, Chicoutimi, Bromont, Plessisville, Saint-Hyacinthe and Laval
15 dedicated volunteers

“We were inspired by the mechanical poetry of the zoetrope to give the public – thanks to digital technology – an extraordinary immersive experience. 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. Loop looks simple, but it is technically complex. It is not the work of one person, but of an imaginative and enthusiastic team. Without them, the project could not have been completed.”
Olivier Girouard and Jonathan Villeneuve, designers of Loop


“Year after year, Luminothérapie keeps getting better, surprising us with daring and original works. Montrealers have the privilege of being part of a renaissance in temporary public art. The Partnership is very proud to provide an exceptional showcase for local artists, who are not only getting exposure locally, but are increasingly acclaimed in other countries thanks to the export of their work.” – Jacques Primeau, chair, Quartier des spectacles Partnership.


Credits |
Designers | Olivier Girouard, Jonathan Villeneuve and Ottoblix
Contributors | generique design, Jérôme Roy and Thomas Ouellet Fredericks
Produced by Ekumen and the Quartier des spectacles Partnership.
Photography | Ulysse Lemerise/OSA Images

For more information | quartierdesspectacles.com/en/

About Damian Holmes 3314 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/damianholmes/