Mirages and Miracles | Animate the Inanimate

Ever wonder what would happen if the inanimate objects around moved or told stories? That being said, various tech companies are currently playing in the Virtual and Augmented Reality fields and developing cool new tools to explore this. Certainly, artists love such tools because they allow them to create in whole new dimensions! For example, take Mirages and Miracles, the newest interactive AR/VR exhibit at the Phi Centre (407 Saint-Pierre St.) taking place from February 18 to April 5th.

The Adrien M & Claire B Company

To begin, let’s talk about the creators of Mirages and Miracles. Firstly, Claire Bardainne is a fine artist and graphic designer who builds AR and VR spaces. Secondly, Adrien Mondot is a computer scientist and juggler who creates movement within the spaces. As such, they put on shows and installations in the digital and living arts. Consequently, their mission is to make digital art that complements the inanimate with human elements, thus giving it life and telling its story.

Artists Claire Bardainne and Adrien Mondot Photo: Compagnie Adrien M & Claire B

Mirages and Miracles – The Experience

When you walk in, a guide offers you an iPad to interact with the augmented reality pieces. Then, the Mirages and Miracles show  is divided into the four series below and includes fourteen pieces.

The Silence of Stones

First of all, this series features rocks of all shapes and sizes. Most importantly, you look through your iPad to discover the life and the music within inorganic objects. More specifically, you can see various AR shapes and human silhouettes that appear and move around. In fact, they obtained the humanoid animations by tracking the movements of actual dancers!



Second of all, the artists play with ideas of illusion in this series. More precisely, they use the Pepper’s ghost mechanism, where “light rays are partly bent by a transparent and reflecting glass”, which makes it seem like digital objects are interacting with inanimate objects in front of your very eyes.

Erosion. Illusions series. Photo: Sandra Larochelle


Ghost Machines

Third of all, this series is the only one where you use a VR headset. Best of all, you can dance with life-size silhouettes and manipulate a rock-like structure that turns into stardust which you can then move and swirl around with your hands.


Lastly, the fourth series includes Tempo geologico which is a video projection on a metal veil that is suspended above the room like a cloud. Moreover, this is a piece you interact with: the more movement happens beneath it, the more the projection will react. As a result, did I spin around and run underneath this cloud with my fellow guests for the piece to react? You bet!

Mysteries. Tempo geologico. Photo: Sandra Larochelle

Get Lost in the Mirages and Miracles

To sum up, the Phi Centre brings novelty to our artistic experiences within the art-meets-technology niche. That being said, I think the Mirages and Miracles exhibit is perfect if you’re looking for innovative art or if you want to enjoy interactive artworks with your kids (kids under 12 attend for free!). For more information on the exhibit and for tickets, you can follow this link.

Mirages and Miracles. Phi Centre. Photo: Sandra Larochelle

Finally, we love how the Phi Centre always stands out at the forefront of art and technology. So, to learn more about other “art meets tech” experiences you can check out our article on Cadavre Exquis, an entirely virtual reality exhibit that was featured at the Phi in 2019, right here.

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