This week on my way home on the bus, I passed through the Quartier des Spectacles in Montreal – a district featuring a number of cultural institutions and located near to the Université du Québec à Montréal. As the bus stopped, I was delighted to see (and hear) one of my favourite playful public installations back in the city for the spring!
21 Balancoires is a very fun installation by the group Daily tous les jours (we covered another one of their projects as a Friday Feature a few years ago) – it’s part street furniture and part game. The project consists of 21 swings that make music while you swing. Whimsical and lovely? Yes! What’s better? The project is meant to encourage participants to cooperate with one another. If you cooperate and communicate with your fellow swingers, new melodies emerge. In this great interview, Mouna Andraos (one of the artists) says, “To make music, you need more than one person. And to make that music evolve, you have to communicate with the other person, in one way or another!” I highly suggest reading the interview to get more info on the artists and their collaboration with a professor of animal behaviour for the project.
The design of the swings is bright and colourful and at night, the lights on the bottom of the seats create fun effects as people swing. The project has been installed in Montreal for a few summers and I can’t wait to make the treck down there (maybe this weekend) to play again!
I’d love to see a project like this installed (even temporarily) in Regina’s City Square Plaza. Something that would provide a passive and fun activity for passersby (seriously who doesn’t like to sit and swing for awhile?) and add a sense of play and joy to such a key central space in the downtown.
Have a great weekend!
** Photos and video via Daily tous les jours