Our first night in Montreal, as we walked out of the Hyatt where Jen and Jill are staying, we saw search lights beaming up into the dark sky, crisscrossing each other with rays of white that swooped and turned and created a dance of light in the cloud muffled darkness above.
Last night, walking back to our AirBnB apartment (great way to travel, check it out), we passed the lights again. Only this time we noticed there was a continuous design being beamed on the side of a large building, changing from a fox face, to a sheep, to sky constellations, to a swirl of back and white, moving lines outward to disappear off the edge, and a sun burst of light that tapered into an open circle. The upper windows of a building across the street were cycling through a dark to fully lit cycle, and in the square where many of the search lights were standing, there were rows of small red lights in lines across the concrete plaza.
Then David realized there was a tall, white wand, a lever, standing next to one of the black cloth draped search light bases. The wands are there for people to manipulate the lights. You push the wand down, the light moves up to shoot straight into the sky. Pull the wand back, and the light begins to lower. There were wand operated lights on both sides of the square, their movement being manipulated by people enjoying the show, and mingling with the moving lights set on higher stands, and lights that appeared to be beaming from the tops of buildings.
A plaque on the side of the search light structure told us this interactive installation was designed by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, sponsored by the Museum of Contemporary Art in celebration of the Quebec Triennial, 2011, and shows every evening from October 7 to November 2. It was magical.