Montreal’s Digital Spring features New York Times VR experience, Mont-Royal app


Spring is in the air: Montreal’s Digital Spring that is.

The city’s celebration of digital creativity is now in its third year and will feature some exciting events. They include a New York Times virtual reality (VR) experience, “The Library at Night,” a virtual exploration of 10 of the world’s most fascinating libraries, “FORÊT EN ÉCHO,” where viewers will use an iPhone app to discover the forest in music in front of Mont-Royal landscapes, and much more.

Running from May to late June, this season’s Digital Spring will feature over 150 activities involving 210 organizations. Last year’s session welcomed over 280,000 visitors.

“The vitality of our metropolis is really incredible,” said Suzanne Gouin, chair of Montreal Digital Spring’s Board of Directors. “It’s a great privilege to be able to benefit from a digital ecosystem that spreads out over so many sectors with such force.”

According to Digital Spring’s website, Montreal is a Digital arts capital, ranking 3rd in the gaming world, 4th in the visual effects industry and a new vector in virtual reality. “Montreal is establishing itself worldwide as a digital hub.”

Meanwhile,Vrak TV’s Vanessa Pilon said “Montreal talent is making its mark on the world stage, so it’s imperative that we celebrate that here by discovering its creations.”

“For many, digital creations still seem very niche, but on the contrary they’re more accessible now than ever,” added Pilon.

Digital Spring

A huge variety of events will be open to the public, including: screenings and public installations, interactive spaces, visual performances, the latest in electronic music, immersion activities, 3D productions, explorations into the world of visual effects, gaming and virtual reality, studio tours, and more.

Here’s a few of our favourites events in this year’s Digital Spring:

1. What: NYT VR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES (JARDIN DE RÉALITÉ VIRTUELLE)

When: Now until May 31 2016

Where: Phi Centre

About: The Phi Centre presents a series of virtual reality pieces of work created by The New York Times Magazine and the London-New York-Los Angeles-based virtual reality studio Vrse.works. The spectators will have the opportunity of living out four amazing experiences from music and cinema to street art installations and life during the war.

2. What: THE LIBRARY AT NIGHT

When: Now until August 28 2016

Where: Grande Bibliothèque

About: The Library at Night is a virtual exploration of 10 of the world’s most fascinating libraries. It was designed by the Ex Machina production company and its artistic director, multidisciplinary artist Robert Lepage, based on an original idea by BanQ. The exhibition explores the philosophical, architectural and social foundations on which all libraries rest.

3. What: FORÊT EN ÉCHO

When: Now until June 21 2016

Where: Chalet du Mont-Royal

About: With an iPhone application and headphones, we enjoy a poetic story inspired by the piece of work Hélier, fils des bois from the Breton author Marie Le Franc. Through this event, we discover the forest in music in front of Mont-Royal landscapes.

4. What: MAËSTRO,

When: Now until May 26 2016

Where: Place des Festivals

About: Stand on the podium and conduct the fountain in the Place des Festivals, like a real maestro! As you wave the baton equipped with sensors, the spouts will activate in sync with your motions and the music.

5. What: AOD3-ARCHEOLOGY OF THE DIGITAL                                                                          

When: May 10 to October 2 2016

Where: Centre Canadien d’Architecture (CCA)

About: Curated by architect Greg Lynn, Archaeology of the Digital is conceived as an investigation into the foundations of digital architecture at the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s through four seminal projects that established bold new directions for architectural research by experimenting with novel digital tools: the Lewis Residence by Frank Gehry (1985–1995), Peter Eisenman’s unrealized Biozentrum (1987), Chuck Hoberman’s Expanding Sphere (1992) and Shoei Yoh’s roof structures for Odawara (1991) and Galaxy Toyama (1992) Gymnasiums.

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