Toronto Through My Lens

Illuminite 2024

Currently running until the end of March 2024 is an interesting LED light exhibition called Illuminite. There are 6 installations in total: 2 in Yonge-Dundas Square, 3 in Trinity Square Park behind the Eaton Centre, and 1 at Yonge and Shuter Streets (although this last one I was not able to locate during my visit).

Apparently Illuminite happens every year, but this was the first year I’d personally heard of it. I believe the event has been on hiatus over COVID so that would explain its absence.

At any rate, here’s a sampling of some of the works on display (descriptions courtesy of the Illuminite website):

Biolumen

Artist: Radha Chaddah & RAW Design
Location: Yonge-Dundas Square

Biolumen is by Toronto-based visual artist and scientist Radha Chaddah and architectural firm RAW Design.

Biolumen by Radha Chaddah x RAW Design is an immersive experience with changing light,texture, and sound. The art installation features ten large luminescent structures where art, science, and nature merge. Inspired by deep-sea Radiolaria, Biolumen represents resilience and beauty in harsh environments.

During the evening hours the columns cast patterns of light when spun by participants. During the day, the columns emit ambient sounds when spun.

Click images below for slideshow:

If there were darkness enough in Yonge-Dundas Square, this is how Biolumen would appear:

Digital Drapes

Artist: MattCreative
Location: HNR Properties 19-21 Dundas Square

Digital Drapes is the crossover between light, motion, and architecture, where all of the windows of a building are covered in grids of programmable LEDs. Dynamic visualizations are created that work together with the unique geometry of the building to activate the entire space, turning the entire building into an interactive canvas.

Unfortunately my shots of Digital Drapes cannot do it justice; the LEDs were constantly changing and pulsating so it was hard to capture this installation at its best:

Ethera

Artist: Ariel Weiss
Location: Trinity Square Park

Ethera is an interactive and LED based public art installation designed by students from the Department of Architectural Science at Toronto Metropolitan University. Toronto-based lighting design studio Urban Visuals and StrongLED also served as industry partners for the Media Architecture Biennale.

Through its polycarbonate and recycled glass-filled skin and its LED-based lighting system, the installation plays with lighting in both natural and artificial conditions.

The animated Ethera pavilion creates an immersive experience that invites visitors to disengage with the city around them, encouraging a childlike playfulness:

SAM Lamp

Artist: Sam Hardwicke-Brown
Location: Trinity Square Park

This installation is a response to episodes of negative mental health that we all face throughout our lives. Through the semiotics of structure, and the use of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) light technology, the intention of the installation is to provide support to those within the structure. This noctilucent installation aims to provide temporary comfort to those in need. In the bleakest of darkness, one will find support in the light.

This project acts as a Seasonal Affective Meditation space, and temporary safe haven for those in need:

Spectrum

Artist: Spectrum by Mirari, co-production of Quays Culture and Quartier des spectacles Partnership. Distribution by QDSinternational.
Location: Trinity Square Park

A listening experience, in which you are invited to engage with others in a sound-and-light dialogue. Take some time to listen, in order to see.

This interactive installation sheds light on the phenomenon of communication, by displaying the path taken by the waves generated by voices and other sounds. Here, the fundamental means of interpersonal communication, speech, is disconnected from language. Instead, it becomes a cascade of waves and luminous pulses, illustrating the fascinating trajectories of sound. Watch as your message moves from one end of the circles to the other. You will see how small gestures – invisible reverberations – can have a big impact:

The installations can be enjoyed for free daily until midnight, from March 1-31.

Illuminite has been created and sponsored by the Downtown Yonge BIA, with support from the Government of Canada and the City of Toronto.

1 Comment

  1. Bob K

    Very cool to see. Small and simple keeps it interesting. I miss the city. Thanks.

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