At a time when cities are looking for new ways to bring life to their streets and public spaces, the interactive Megaphone installation invites Montrealers and visitors to gather downtown to explore the festive side of public speaking. Selected in April 2012, after a call for applications by the National Film Board of Canada and the Partenariat du Quartier des spectacles, Megaphone was chosen to occupy the Promenade des Artistes in the heart of Quartier des Spectacles, from September 4th to November 4th. Megaphone is a creation of Moment Factory, directed by Étienne Paquette.
Megaphone was created as a mouthpiece to let Montrealers’ voices be heard, loud and clear! Inspired by the city’s early 20th-century history of popular assemblies as well as the 19th-century British tradition of the Speaker’s Corner, the installation gives everyone a chance to speak out and air their concerns.
Megaphone, an art installation about reappropriating public space through speech, gives everyone an opportunity to join in on the discussion. As participants speak, their voices are transformed, in real time, into images projected onto the façade of the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM), leaving their visual “footprint” on the urban landscape. The speaker’s words also are transferred to a voice-recognition system developed by the Computer Research institute of Montreal (CRIM) and specially adapted for Megaphone.
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A transcription of the words is then used to enhance the visual space as well as feed the database that informs the video content being projected when the megaphone is not in use. This effectively reflects what has been said while providing an overall picture of the sound clips that have been stored.Location: Montreal, Canada Architect: Moment Factory
Project name: Megaphone Producers: Hugues Sweeney (National Film Board of Canada) and Pascal Lefebvre (Quartier des spectacles)
Conception and Direction: Alexandre Lupien, Étienne Paquette
Production: Geneviève Forest, Marie-Ève Meilleur, Johanna Marsal
Artistic direction: Léa Behr
Stage design: Maryline Thibault
Interactive content: Pascal Michel, Sophie Midavaine, Arnaud Spulher, Jacob Dufossé, Marc-André Baril
Technology and Innovation: Vincent Pasquier, Guillaume Lévesque, Samir Ounnoughi, Marouane Sahbi, Dominic Audet
Sound editing: Cassidy Lerman
Voice recognition system designer: Computer Research Institute of Montreal (CRIM) Photos: Moment Factory