Luminescent see-saws and musical zoetropes will transform The Quarters into an interactive art playground during the inaugural Edmonton Design Week, Sept. 22-30.
Presented by Nuit Blanche Edmonton, IMPULSE+LOOP: THE QUARTERS brings together two award-winning public art installations to animate The Armature, a new public space within the heart of The Quarters — the neighbourhood east of downtown that encompasses the districts of Boyle and McCauley, and which is currently being redeveloped and revitalized.
Created in Toronto by Lateral Office and CS Design, Impulse consists of 15 see-saws connected to LED lights and a speaker. When in motion the see-saws emit a unique sound sequence, developed by artist Mitchell Akiyama, and begin to glow. The result is a dynamic and ever-changing soundscape and light show.
Impulse was first revealed at Montreal's Luminothérapie Festival to award winning acclaim, and has since travelled to Chicago, Boston, London, Brussels, New Jersey, Jerusalem and Lugano, Switzerland.
Its counterpart, Loop, is just beginning a worldwide tour with its next stop in Lugano, Switzerland. The installation, conceived by Montreal-based EKUMEN production company, also took home the top prize when it was unveiled at Luminothérapie this winter.
A cross between a music box and a zoetrope — an optical toy that preceded animated film — Loop consists of six two-metre wide cylinders. Users sit in these cylinders and, using a railway handcar mechanism, bring music and fairy-tale images to life.
Susan Pointe, curator and project manager of IMPULSE+LOOP: THE QUARTERS, said The Armature is the ideal venue for this installation.
The new pedestrian-friendly corridor, which runs along 96 Street from Jasper Avenue to 103A Avenue, is part of the city's redevelopment efforts of The Quarters, which began in 2006. Upon full build-out, The Armature will contain all-season parks, urban plazas, and eating and entertainment areas, and serve as a hub for commercial and social activities in the area. In the meantime, Pointe wanted to bring the new public space to the public's attention.
"When I was sitting at the Design Week table I kept thinking we've got to do something to celebrate The Armature and Kinistinâw Park. It's this beautiful space in downtown Edmonton that's just waiting to be activated," said Pointe.
IMPULSE+LOOP: THE QUARTERS runs from Sept. 22 to Oct. 1 on 96 Street between 102A and 103A avenues. The family-friendly event is free and accessible 24 hours a day.
This featured event is one of 42 installations, talks, tours, workshops, exhibitions, parties and pop-ups being held across the city during the Edmonton's inaugural design week — nine days of programming dedicated to design and innovation. The mix of free and paid, schedule and unscheduled events are also meant to bring energy to the downtown core and all of its underused and unique spaces.
For more information on Edmonton Design Week or to access a full list of events, click here.