Mirror Mirror is taking viewers on a journey through their wildest dreams
By Emma Marshall, Staff Writer
Get ready to choose your door and step into a world where technology, art, and human connection collide.
CF Chinook Mall is opening its doors to Mirror Mirror, an interactive indoor art experience, powered by the entertainment platform, Fever. From the minds of those at Moment Factory, the renowned Montreal-based multimedia entertainment studio, this experience takes visitors on a journey through the realms of memory, imagination, dreams, and consciousness.
Following successful runs in Montreal and Adelaide, this exhibit will be showcased to the public on Feb. 2, promising to transport visitors into a world where reality and imagination seamlessly converge.
The adventure begins with the choice between three doors, leading participants to explore at their own pace. Consisting of nine immersive art installations, the experience aims to separate users from their day-to-day lives and reconnect them to the more elusive, and a less acknowledged, side of the world.
“Because in our world, everything is so defined. You have your telephone telling you how to behave, where to go and we wanted to shake that up,” said Marie Belzil, Creative Director at Moment Factory. “When you don’t know what you’re exploring, you get back to feeling like a kid.”
The installations include a variety of multimedia aspects. In ‘memory storage’ guests are able to share memories to activate a captivating choreography of light. This leads to ‘intelligent window,’ an installation brought to life by artificial intelligence (AI), transforming a piece of the shared memory into a visual masterpiece. The ‘forest of echoes’ invites visitors to navigate a labyrinth of mirrors, challenging their sense of self in a maze of reflections.
Other interactive installations invite participants to leap across rock-like platforms to conjure colour and music or engage in playful tarot sessions to unveil their destiny.
As the first independent project developed by Moment Factory, this exhibit has undergone trial and error before reaching what it is today. The team is confident that the display is in the final stages of perfection, and that Calgary will be seeing the most completed version of this project.
“Mirror Mirror is a really special project for Moment Factory. We call this exhibit our baby because it’s kind of our own voices,” said Belzil.
As Moment Factory continues to redefine the boundaries of immersive art, Mirror Mirror promises to be a transformative experience, inviting Calgarians and tourists alike to explore the infinite possibilities of imagination and connection.
The surge in popularity of interactive art is reshaping the way audiences engage with and perceive artistic expression. Entertainment companies have seen an increase in participation since the widespread loneliness of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The attraction of interactive art lies in its ability to break away from the traditional role of the viewer, transforming them into active participants. Social connection plays a pivotal role in the rising popularity of interactive art. Visitors are not only active participants in the art but also share the experience with others, fostering a sense of community.
“It is amazing that technology allows us to be connected, but we think that we deeply need real physical connection,” said Belzil. “That’s what we see in our experience. Bringing in activities so that you connect with people who you came with, but you might end up connecting with people that you don’t know.”
As society becomes increasingly digitally saturated, the craving for physical presence and experiences grows. Interactive art serves as a bridge between the digital and physical realms, offering a break from screens and a chance for hands-on engagement.
Moreover, the desire for novel experiences propels the popularity of interactive art. In an era where novelty is sought after, these installations provide a departure from the ordinary, offering unpredictable encounters that stand out in people’s memories.
“It’s an artistic twist, it’s an interpretation. It’s not like you’re going to learn about the brain as you would in a museum exhibit, but we’re going to trigger your memory. We’re going to ask you to dream about the future, we’re going to ask you to move to get into the moment,” said Belzil. “That’s really like a little escape from reality.” Technological advancements contribute significantly to the success of interactive art. AI, augmented reality, and other cutting-edge technologies are seamlessly integrated into these installations, enhancing the overall experience and expanding the possibilities of artistic expression.
“We cannot look away from AI because there are really good ways for us to integrate it into our technology and our process, and innovate everywhere,” said Belzil. “We see these models shifting intention.”
As Mirror Mirror prepares to open its doors, it symbolizes not just an art exhibition but a continuation of the cultural movement towards engagement, personalization, and rediscovery of the joy in shared immersive experiences. Calgary, with its vibrant arts community, is set to embrace this transformative trend, paving the way for a future where interactive art takes centre stage in the cultural landscape.
The exhibit takes place in 45-minute intervals, and times for each day are available online. Tickets start at $22 for adults, $18 for children (4-12), with group rates starting at $20. Tickets are available on the Mirror Mirror website or Fever’s website and app. The exhibit closes on March 17.