Take a Ride on Musical Seesaws of Light

CS Design and Lateral Office's Impulse is a public art playground.

by Gabrielle Bruney
Jan 30 2016, 2:30pm

If you're in Montreal, you can ride a seesaw that’s way cooler than the one that used to be between the jungle gym and the tire swing at your local park. These seesaws are musical, and they’re lit with a ribbon of light.

Luminothérapie is a public art and design festival that lights up Montreal every winter, and this year the 30 incandescant seesaws of Impulse are the star of the show. When activated by the motion of the seesaw-rider, they emit a sequence of sound and lights—when multiple seesaws are active, they create a polyphonic audiovisual installation. "The landscape is transformed by the sound and light emitted by the seesaws when people play on them,” says Lola Sheppard of Lateral Office, the firm that, along with CS Design, created Impulse.  "The result will always be different, whether there are 30 people on the site or three people on a single seesaw."

Photo by Ulysse Lemerise / OSA. Image courtesy of Quatier Des Spectacles

In addition to the seesaws, artists Mathieu LeSourd, AKA Maotik, and design team Iregular created the video projections that illuminate Montreal’s Place des Festivals, where Luminothérapie takes place.

Photo by Ulysse Lemerise / OSA. Image courtesy of Quatier Des Spectacles

Impulse won over the jury with its intuitive participatory nature, appealing to a wide audience. The installation covers all of Place des Festivals, using the space in a harmonious way. It produces a strong visual impact, and it invites to be active in winter. The video projections, meanwhile, are more abstract and complement the experience of playing on the seesaws in the Place des Festivals, which the jury members saw as a daring idea,” explains Gabriel Poirier-Galarneau, chair of the Luminothérapie 2015 jury.

Photo by Ulysse Lemerise / OSA. Image courtesy of Quatier Des Spectacles

Photo by Martine Doyon. Image courtesy of Quatier Des Spectacles

Luminothérapie runs until January 31. For more information, click here.


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