Exhibit: ICEBERG

As I promised from yesterday’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination (click HERE to see the post), here is the full exhibit.

First, I do have to give thanks to another fellow blogger, David @ Lead.Learn.Live who reminded me of these fantastic arts exhibits in the Quartier des Spectacles around my area with showing another display that had taken place there. That exhibit was called 21 Swings.  Check out his post about that HERE.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, this is Luminotherapy’s 3rd annual event.  This is just one part of the complete lights display.

The concept behind ICEBERG is to see the lifespan and change of an iceberg as it shifts from the north to the south and nears land.  If you were to walk the whole interactive experience, you need to start on the most north (for ones familiar, Maisonneuve street).  And walk through the multiple series of metallic frames replica of icebergs which emit sounds to reflect the stage as you walk through.  To get the full experience, you need to stop under a beam to wait for the full sound effects.


This exhibit is separated into 4 stages. Its to help you understand the lifespan and how global warming is effecting it.  The guide told me that an iceberg’s lifespan as it moves down south should be about 5-8 years before its completely melted but now its average before it disappears is at around 3 years.

The first one is the Iceberg origin when it first leaves the North.  Here is whats on the plaque for this section:

“Between 10,000 and 40,000 icebergs appear in Canadian waters every year, 90% of them originating from glaciers on the west coast of Greenland.  Glaciers frequently break apart in this region of Greenland.  That is because this unusual island is below sea level, but covered by a dome of ice that sits above the water.  The weight of this ice dome, combined with the effects of the Arctic summer melt water and erosion by waves, causes crevasses to form in the ice.  This in turn leads to calving, a term used to describe glaciers breaking off to form icebergs.”

As you walk under each of the tall and big metallic beams, you hear the cracking of ice.  When you pause under a beam and hear the crack, this builds up…

When you get through this iceberg and it has broken off from the glacier we head into the next phase called Quiet Strength.

“As soon as they enter the Arctic waters, the icebergs begin slowly melting.  Seawater eats away at their submerged sections, while the sun, wind and movement of the waves erode the ice above water.  These various natural phenomena affects an iceberg’s equilibrium, gradually shifting its centre of gravity.  Enormous pressure is therefore created between the downward force of the iceberg’s immense weight and the upward force of flotation.  

Like a compressed spring, the iceberg can release their energy at any moment.  When the pressure becomes too great, the fragile equilibrium is broken, releasing a considerable amount of energy. This causes the ice mammoth to flip over, creating an impressive shock wave. As the icebergs continue their slow melt, this spectacular and unpredictable phenomenon occurs ever more frequently, so much so that at the end of their life, icebergs can roll over every three or four days.”


This part I needed to wait for everyone to get out and tried this video multiple times because you need it to be extremely quiet to catch the water sounds that slowly build up.  The beams here are shorter than the previous ones and start decreasing in size as you walk through them.  Every step you take, you hear water dripping sounds and same as before, when you stand under a beam that just has the water dripping sound, it also grows and we hear exactly what happens in the description above.  Something like this…

When you exit this series of Quiet Strength, we head into the last series of sound accompanied iceberg phase called Ice Song.

Centuries old and shaped by time and the elements, these monuments of ice make a distinctive sounds.  As water gets inside their cracks and crevasses, they resonate like giant pipe organs, the tones modulating and evolving as the icebergs slowly melt.  This “glacial” symphony reaches a crescendo as the icebergs approach the Arctic Circle.  Navigating through ice-covered waters, they come in contact with chunks of sea ice, some of them a metre thick.  The impact leads to exquisite vibrations in the seawater-filled crevasses deep inside the icebergs.”


This third part is the one that’s closest to a road so it was hard to wait for complete quiet although the sounds are quite sharp.  Also, this iceberg gets shorter and shorter as you approach the exit to the point where my 5’3″ height had to bend and crouch down to get out of the exit.  Every time you step under a beam, this one rings our a little sharp music note.  When you stand under the beam for a while, here is the song that we get to enjoy…

The fourth and last part is located right on the Place des Arts entrance.  There are no sounds because it signifies the end of the iceberg’s life.  I didn’t take a picture of that plaque (missed it) so no information on that section.  The guide did say that it shows the disappearance of iceberg as it is now just little chunks of ice floating around in the sea til it fully melts.


This is both an educational and beautiful exhibit.  If you are from Montreal or you happen to be close enough to visit, this is definitely worth your while.  My videos are to give you an idea of what the actual experience is.  I probably will go again and just stand under and enjoy the sounds of the iceberg because the experience matched with the lights and the sounds was just so awesome! It reminds us so much more that we need to take care of our planet and start caring of what is happening with our environment.

Next up: I’ll be heading out to see the other part of the Luminotherapy called Le Jour de 8 Soleils.  The translation is The Day of 8 Suns, which is a story projected on 8 different buildings.  Sounds fun, right? I’ll be back hopefully by next weekend with some more on that.

14 thoughts on “Exhibit: ICEBERG

  1. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination « Tranquil Dreams

  2. Wow… what and amazing and beautiful exhibit and your capture of it by video added so much to it! Thank you so much for sharing your experience!


  3. Reblogged this on burnettfreelanceimagery and commented:
    An amazing journey as seen through the camera and through your ears. Enjoy this beautiful exhibit, resist the temptation to read ahead… allow yourself to fully appreciate the beauty and awesomeness of the exhibit one step at a time…. kudos to Tranquil Dreams for capturing the exhibit so beautifully.


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