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Félix Dagenais and Louis-Xavier Gagnon-Lebrun, ATOMIC3

Multimedia Installations / Architectural Lighting / Performing Arts


Stories, in the broadest sense of the word, shape the meaning and momentum of everyday life. Thousands of years ago, sitting around a campfire, people were telling stories to try to make sense of the chaotic world they lived in. This warm light was bringing them together day after day, human connection being essential to our survival. Communities were built around public places like this campfire. In the past decades, our public places have somehow been forgotten, due the type of urban development aiming toward more private spaces. And people now prefer to connect in the virtual world, through social network, thus contributing even more in the disappearance of the public.

“It is more and more important to make the cities inviting, so we can meet our fellow citizens face to face and experience directly through our senses. Public life in good quality public spaces is an important part of a democratic life and a full life.” - Jan Gehl
How can light based immersive multi-sensory environment play a role in helping people rediscover their public places? Can interactive installations be part of the placemaking principles used to strengthen the connection between people and the places they share? This presentation will cover this subject through case studies of past projects and the design process behind them.

With over twelve years of experience in the performing arts, director Félix Dagenais and lighting designer Louis-Xavier Gagnon-Lebrun founded ATOMIC3 to push their artistic development beyond the walls of the theatre, inventing new ways to tell stories and spark the imagination.

ATOMIC3 is a multimedia studio that brings together artists and designers from all backgrounds, to create unique immersive experiences where light, video, music, architecture, and new technologies plunge visitors into the heart of the story, and the heart of the work.

Whether interactive or contemplative, ATOMIC3's creations transform the public space to reach out to people in their daily lives. The works invite them to open up to others, work together, and see the world and their environment with new eyes. The founders' rich and diverse performing arts experience informs their approach, bringing original narrative and poetic dimensions to their work.

Since 2011, ATOMIC3 has created many interactive light installations for the public space, including permanent artworks at the new Canadian Embassy in Paris, the new international jetty at Montréal-Trudeau Airport, the illumination of the Jacques-Cartier Bridge in Montreal as well as a dozen touring installation presented in North America as well as in Europe.