Walking around Montreal in the winter can be lonely. In an effort to bridge the gap between the city’s residents during the season, Le Quartier des Spectacles put on its ninth edition of Luminothérapie, Quebec’s largest public art competition. Local design agency Ingrid Ingrid is behind this year’s winner, Effet Domino, an installation composed of 120 giant, coloured musical dominos. The work conjures a sense of community by encouraging collaboration among strangers during the winter season.
In their work, Ingrid Ingrid attempts to create art that engages the public. To that end, the firm designed installations that work to unite people and celebrate the beauty in human interaction.
“At Ingrid Ingrid, […] our activities are very often directed [toward interactive] activities […] and working with content in a public space,” Geneviève Levasseur, founder of Ingrid Ingrid and creative director of the installation, said. “We wanted to not [do] something in a traditional park because there [are] a lot of projects like that, which are very good, and we just wanted to do another thing.”
Effet Domino invites the public to play with a set of 10 dominos which guests can rearrange into fun, creative patterns. Each set of dominoes illuminates and erupts with musical sounds when players topple them over. According to Levasseur, the project encourages cooperation among participants.
“We realize that [playing dominos] is a very solo game, but, when we play with it [on] a large scale, it becomes something [that is made easier and more fun when] we work together,” Levasseur said.
Bringing together families and university students at the epicentre of Montreal’s art community, the interactive component of the project makes it attractive to curious minds no matter their age. According to visitors, the exhibition has been successful in forming bonds with strangers.
“[Effet Domino] brings, especially in this neighbourhood [that is] made for people to come and enjoy culture, […] diversion and [distract them from the cold],” Maelle Jacqmarcq, U2 Political Science, said. “Since it’s a community piece, the ‘domino effect’ [can be interpreted as] bringing [everyone] together. If one person is happy, [then] multiple people can be happy.”
Effet Domino highlights the interconnectedness of a community while accentuating the hidden beauty of the neighbourhood. The public can visit and interact with the dominos until Jan. 27. During this run, Levasseur hopes that the exhibit will encourage passers-by to create memories with the strangers around them.
“[Participants are] laughing, [they] use it [in ways that we had not envisioned],” Levasseur said. “It’s very important for me to [do justice to the] the optimistic vision of the project [….I want people to take away that] when you do something and you need help, there [are] other people there for you. I think it’s a subtle message, but, subconsciously, it works very well.”