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Photo: Espace pour la vie (Geoffroy Boulangé)

Choreographies for Humans and Stars

The first digital artwork in the City of Montréal collection

Created especially for the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium, this unique public art installation invites visitors and passersby, every night, to enter into poetic dialogue with celestial phenomena. In this fascinating exploration of astronomy, movements made in front of the work affect giant animations that are projected onto the building’s facade.

Come move, dance and laugh under the stars, next to the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium after dark.

Mouna Andraos et Melissa Mongiat: multidisciplinary artists

Chosen as a result of a public art competition initiated by the City of Montréal, Choreographies for Humans and Stars is a participatory artwork conceived by Mouna Andraos and Melissa Mongiat. The two Québec artists, from the fields of interactive design and narrative environment creation, are also the creators of 21 Balançoires (21 Swings), a 2011 installation in Montréal’s Quartier des Spectacles. Together they founded Daily tous les jours (“Daily Every Day” in English), a multidisciplinary creative studio specializing in the creation of collective experiences.

In their digital artwork, they actualize the inaccessible through play. Everyone can pick a path and explore different phenomena through the animations their movements trigger on the planetarium’s facade. Here, astronomical phenomena become choreographies and the participants, dancers.

Children in citizen-participation mode

The special nature of this work is the creators’ involvement of children in its realization. They absolutely insisted that local residents be involved in its development, so they set up workshops for young people in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough. Fifty children between 8 and 11 years of age in day camp programs were introduced to various animation techniques (shooting stars, planets) to produce the videos that are projected onto the facade.

This way of doing things is completely in line with the Montréal Space for Life's wish that citizens own, animate and occupy the space.

An innovative technological work

Equipment at the cutting edge of technology – camera, projector, computer, screen and fibre optics – was used in the realization of this dialogue with the stars. The Blobserver software for detecting and tracking people was developed jointly with the Society for Arts and Technology (SAT). This software senses the human form in a continuous image stream, allowing images for projection to be formed.

Activity calendar

Every evening after dark, you are invited to dance with the stars!

On your own or in a group, you can act out cosmic scenes and phenomena that shape giant images projected onto the facade of the planetarium. Astronomical phenomena become choreographies and your movements enter a poetic dialogue with celestial phenomena in this playful introduction to astronomy!

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