Playful; Illusion; Luminous; Quebec literature

A participatory work that will spark the imagination

Public places will shimmer with the mechanical poetry of Loop’s 12 giant zoetropes. The retro-futuristic machines play flipbook-style animation of images by Quebec illustrators, inspired by 12 works by some of the greatest Quebec authors when visitors work the lever together.

This interactive work consists of 12 giant zoetropes that play short flipbook-style movies by Quebec illustrators, inspired by local literary works, among others, Joséphine Bacon, Dany Laferrière and Wajdi Mouawad. The animations, carried out and the support of SODEC, are accompanied by sound emanating from the centre of each giant wheel. The installation is inspired by the zoetrope, an optical toy invented in the 19th century. Loop combines elements of the music box, zoetrope and railway handcar. Sit down inside the zoetrope, pump the bar, and make the image cylinder turn. The pictures will spring into motion. The images, tinted by a strobe effect, are reminiscent of the earliest movies. The speed of the animation, the frequency at which the light flickers and the tempo of the music are all determined by how fast you move the bar.


Technical features

Quantity: Choice of 6 or 12 modules

Dimensions: 7.5 ft (2.25 m) long / 3 ft (1 m) wide / 8 ft (2.5 m) high.

Weight of a module: 722 pounds (328 kilos)C

Footprint of one module: 144 ft2 (16 m2)

Installation footprint

6 modules: 4,956 ft2 (461 m2)

12 modules: 11,842 ft2 (1,100 m2)

Several configurations are possible depending on the site and the desired experience

Concept and execution

Olivier Girouard and Jonathan Villeneuve


Gérard Dubois, Marianne Ferrer, Estelle Frenette-Vallières, Éléonore Goldberg, Jacques Goldstyn, Pinabel, Camille Pomerlo, Mathieu Potvin, Todd Stewart, Amélie Tourangeau, Marie-Hélène Turcotte and Urban9

Design of animations and video projections

Mélanie Boudreau Blanchard, Trina Daniel, Galilé Marion-Gauvin, Daria Pelsher, Mathieu Tremblay (Ottoblix)

Industrial design

Sébastien Dallaire (generique design)

Electronic design and programming

Thomas Ouellet Fredericks

Technical support

Adsum Lab

Mechanical consultant

Jérôme D. Roy (Terrafirma)

Audio programming

Dominic Thibault


Olivier Girouard


Concept paradesign


Quartier des Spectacles Partnership and Ekumen

Executive Production, Touring

Jack World


« Jonathan returned from a trip to Berlin, where he’d visited the Technology Museum. He saw all kinds of mechanical inventions there, including the zoetrope, a device, from before movies were invented, that animates a series of images when you spin its cylinder. Then, thinking of hamster wheels, we decided to build a vertical zoetrope. So we combined three mechanical elements: the railway push-car (like the ones made famous by Bugs Bunny cartoons), the music box and the zoetrope. We came up with the idea and sketched out the project just one week before the deadline for submitting proposals! »

Olivier Girouard Composer and the director of the Ekumen studio
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Loop de EKUMEN, Luminothérapie 10e édition, Montréal, Canada, 2020 © Ulysse Lemerise

Loop de EKUMEN, New York, USA, 2018 © Alexandre Ayer

Loop de EKUMEN, Montréal, Canada, 2017 © Ulysse Lemerise

Loop de EKUMEN, Montréal, Canada, 2017 © Ulysse Lemerise

Loop de EKUMEN, Washington DC, USA, 2018 © Cristian Becker

Loop de EKUMEN, Winnipef, Canada, 2019 © Mike Peters

Loop de EKUMEN, Iowa, USA, 2021 © Christopher Hunter

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