Le Circuit de Bachelard

 

This peculiar combination of illuminated electro-technical elements honors the intellectual journey of philosopher Gaston Bachelard (1884-1962), who interlaced forward-thinking ideas underlying the complex interaction of reason and imagination, an important contribution to inspire us a society deeply marked by scientific and artistic creativity. Permanently installed in the main tunnel at École de technologie supérieure, Montreal, Canada, this interactive artwork reminds future engineers of the importance of the rationale-intuitive bilaterality in any technological innovation.

 

© Jean Dubois & Ghyslain Gagnon

Design

Ghyslain Gagnon, Professor, Electrical Engineering, École de technologie supérieure

Jean Dubois, Professor, École des arts visuels et médiatiques, UQAM

Sébastien Rompré, student, École de technologie supérieure

Jean-Philippe Côté, student, École de technologie supérieure

Katherine Ste-Marie, environment designer, UQAM

Sébastien Langevin, information agent, École de technologie supérieure

 

Thanks to

École de technologie supérieure

Appui aux arts et technologies médiatiques du Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et Culture

Fonds de développement durable de l’AÉÉTS

Regroupement stratégique en microsystèmes du Québec

Olivier Bacon, Marc-André Carbonneau, Jacques Desharnais, Stéphane Pierre, Chantal Cyr, Club Éclipse, Noël Giguère, Javier Beltran-Galindo, Anick Légaré, Gilles Fontaine, Magdalena Stanescu

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Artistic Approach

From the very beginning, the idea was to represent the duality between reason and imagination, an important factor in the creative process in engineering. This duality is symbolized in various ways in the artwork. For example, it was meant to show that technical building hardware could be arranged in an esthetical manner. As such, the design team restricted themselves to the same components – pipes, anchors, electrical boxes – typically used by the university construction department, complementing these components with LEDs and smart control for a vibrant lighting of this otherwise drab concrete space.

 

The animation of lighting creates routes of running light blobs through the tunnel. Since the lighted tubes share the space with actual electrical and HVAC pipes, the lighting dynamics gives the impression of flow of useful elements (electricity, network data, air) in the building. A microphone is hidden in an electrical box at the center of the tunnel to allow interactive control. When users blow in an opening in this electrical box, the flow of light is accelerated, a symbol of the contribution of engineers in such technical systems.

 

The artwork was designed as an innovation platform, for students to add elements to the installation in the future, allowing increased interactivity. This platform was successfully tested in 2015 by a team who created a luminous tug of war game in the tunnel, with players using their mobile phones as a controlling device.

 

See it in action:

 
 
Design and Realization
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December 2013 - September 2014

 
Inauguration
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40th Anniversary, École de technologie supérieure, September 29, 2014

 
Technical Details

 

Permanent interactive installation in a 24-meter tunnel between the main buildings of École de technologie supérieure engineering school (Canada)

 

Materials : LED flexible strips, acrylic tubes, steel anchors

Resolution : 2827 pixels RGB 24-bit LEDs

Length (pipes) : 141 m

Control software : Madrix

Control protocol: 8481 channels DMX512

Power consumption (100 % intensity, white) : 2035W @ 12V