Invest Ottawa Residency 2.5/3 – The Concept

The Luminartists, a partnership between Anthony Scavarelli and Henri Kuschkowitz, are currently in residency at the Invest Ottawa space. Over the course of there residency they will be posting chronicles of their project on the Artengine blog. Check back to see their progress!

In our first post we talked about our explorations into the Invest Ottawa space and the prominent themes that revealed themselves from this research. This blog post will be the first of a 3-part series that will touch upon the concept we have, the problems that we have faced, and finally the resolution that has prevailed (something we are currently in the process of figuring out). Here we will focus on the concept built up over the past month and a half, though I should warn that this concept is always evolving and so represents the project at this particular slice of time. Also, some of the more recent issues creeping up may force us to rethink this concept; but for now this is the direction we are hoping to prevail.

Just to review, the following are the 4 main themes we touched upon in the first blog post:

  • The Space: The space is large, open, and full of natural light. We want to create something that is part of the space as opposed to something merely “within” the space.
  • The Journey: Every person that walks through the Invest Ottawa doors has a story. The interesting part concerns how they got there and where they are going. We seek to abstract this concept into our artwork.
  • Energy: A common word used by Invest Ottawa residents to describe their affinity for working there is “energy.” A rare culmination of experience, like-minded individuals, and lots of great ideas contributes to a very positive environment that we want to highlight with light, sound, and movement.
  • Interactivity: We want people to feel as if they are effecting, and ideally contributing to the artwork, as opposed to merely being passive spectators. This is one of philosophical pillars here at Luminartists – to seek and encourage others to project their own meaning on the artwork through interactive means.

The Space

The Invest Lobby is a large open space and from the start we have determined it is necessary to use some of that space for this project. Going large and volumetric, as seen below in one of our architectural renderings, seems a suitable direction for fulfilling this objective.


OpenGL Simulation of our Concept

The Journey

The journey of each individual that passes through Invest Ottawa’s doors is symbolized by the “beams of energy” that will pass from wall to wall. They come from one direction passing through a central representation of the many local businesses willing to collaborate and share with each other, emerging on the other side with a greater energy and clearer concept (more pieces than they went in with).

Energy and Interactivity

As people pass through the Invest Ottawa space thousands of LEDs contained within the clouded acrylic beams will pulse and “move”, representing the positive energy of the space as a business centre and catalyst of opportunity and collaboration. We will have sensors that detect when someone enters the space to trigger pulses of light travelling across the beams. Additionally we will also be constantly watching Twitter feeds to @InvestOttawa to translate them into patterns of light that will also travel along the beams.

To help further the concept of energy radiating through the space we will also utilize an aural dimension on top of the visual one of moving light sculptures that dominates. We have recorded several entrepreneurs and persons that work at Invest Ottawa, in several languages to represent the global reach of Ottawa businesses, that will play through the walls. This is to represent the many voices of experience that exist within Invest Ottawa, ready to welcome all others that wish to pursue a path of self-sustaining business.

Next Steps

With an almost complete concept of what needs to be built, we are now wading through the many approval processes and issues that have come up as we head towards the building and installation phases. We are very close to being to able to begin though! The next blog post will cover some of the issues we have come across with a project of this scope and how they have been managed, leading into the final approved concept and installation. The next few weeks will be very busy and hopefully very productive!

– Anthony Scavarelli, Co-founder of Luminartists








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