Like large glowing gemstones, the 50 sculptures that form Prismatica are garnering plenty of attention on the streets of downtown Montreal.
The participatory art installation – conceived by RAW Design in collaboration with ATOMIC3 and l’Association du Quartier du Musée – comprises pivoting prisms, each more than two metres tall. The pieces are covered by a dichroic membrane that reflects colours and shifts depending on ambient lighting and a viewer’s perspective. Mounted on bases, each is fitted with a projector that creates a different dimension after nightfall; as the prisms rotate, chimes play music at various volumes.
Designed to interact with passers-by and engage them through light, sound and movement, the prisms promote the intersection of artistic creativity and urban design.
Viewers are able to activate the columns by spinning them, allowing their prismatic colours to radiate and shine. The dichroic filter also reflects buildings, the street and people through a range of rainbow-like colours. When the work is rotated, the image on the surface changes, and captures its surroundings at various angles and perspectives.
The sounds that emanate from the prisms produces a unique symphony that combines the sound of bells with street noises (people, cars, sirens).
The sculptures reflect Montreal’s blend of modern and historic architecture. And their prismatic effect recalls the stained-glass windows of surrounding churches (another connection to the sound of bells).
The multi-sensory component of these works prompts viewers to take a moment – to stop, look, and listen to their surroundings. The structures will be in place until Nov. 10. •
Prismatica is on view along Sherbrooke Street between Mountain and Bishop Streets, from October 8 to November 10th, 2019. For more information please visit: www.quartierdumusee.com.