"Articulated Intersect", 2011
Relational Architecture 18
custom-built haptic levers, computers, searchlights, dmx distribution
"Articulated Intersect" is a large-scale installation designed to transform the Place des Spectacles in Montreal. Co-produced by the Musée d'Art contemporain, the installation produces an interactive canopy of light that can be modified by the public using a number of lever-controllers that protrude from the ground. As a participant points one of these levers three powerful robotic searchlights automatically intersect in the sky to create an apex at that location. The participant may direct the apex anywhere over the city in real-time, creating an animated tetrahedron inspired by the work of Richard Buckminster Fuller.
There are three controllers by Ste-Catherine Street on the south side of the square and three controllers by Maisonneuve Street on the north side, producing a total of six tetrahedra. As the 3D position and orientation of each searchlight and lever is known through optical encoders the system knows when two or more apexes intersect, at which point the lights stop reacting and engage in a pulsating autonomous animation for a few seconds. For that time the levers are actually stopped by a mechanical clutch so that participants have haptic feedback that they are creating a remote intersection.
Visible over a 15-Km radius, "Articulated Intersect" is meant to amplify participation to an urban scale, creating personalized light sculptures that segment the sky. Inspired by Argentinean Gyula Kosice and Brazilian Lygia Clark's articulated sculptures from the 40s to 60s this project seeks to create intimacy and complicity in a constantly unfolding art event that is always far from being complete.