Past Event

Discover the universe at a non-human scale and live immersive experiences inspired by space travel, climate change, and mass migration.


*Please note that access to the exhibition is strictly reserved for 13 +.

Adults: $25
Students, seniors (65 and +): $20
Groups of ten or more: $20 (corporate packages available)
Tuesdays and Wednesdays: $20 flat rate

ID will be asked at the door for reduced price admission
Taxes and fees included

*Please take a moment to review our health and safety policy.

315 St-Paul Street West

Find your place in the world by seeing it from different perspectives. Feel small, feel big, feel connected in Particles of Existence, an exhibition taking place at the Phi Centre from March 27 to August 12, 2018.

Most of us have looked up at the night sky, imagined the unknown and tried to give meaning to life on earth. Science and technology have brought us closer to understanding the mysteries of the cosmos, and now through new media and virtual reality, visitors to Particles of Existence are plunged into the invisible realms of life.

From the inner workings of a sequoia tree to the birth of a star, the exhibition invites visitors to experience life at a non-human scale and gain new perspectives on the biggest questions of today. The stories in Particles of Existence open up new dimensions to help us unravel the mysteries of life. Alternating between the personal and the universal, they shed new light on climate change, mass migration, and women’s empowerment to challenge our views on nature, violence, and justice.

A limit of 45 tickets per 3 hour time slot is available. Arrive on the time indicated on your ticket to try a maximum of experiences.

Opening hours and time slots:

Monday: closed

Tuesday to Saturday: Starts at 10 AM, 2 PM and 6 PM

Starts at 10 AM and 2 PM

How do the time slots work? How long should I plan to visit the exhibition? Do you accommodate groups? Find out all the answers to your questions by checking out the essential information on Particles of Existence. Before purchasing tickets, please review our health and safety policy.

Chalkroom, created by Laurie Anderson and Hsin-Chien Huang

United States and Taiwan | 2017
Language: English
*Canadian premiere

Chalkroom is a virtual reality work created collaboratively by multimedia artist Laurie Anderson (United States) and mixed media artist Hsin-Chien Huang (Taiwan). While experiencing the work, the “reader” flies through an enormous structure made of words, drawings, and stories. Words sail through the air as emails. They fall into dust. They form and reform. The experience, which has been shown at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, the Taipei Museum of Fine Arts, and the 2017 Venice International Film Festival—where it won Best VR Experience (for Interactive Content), as La Camera Insabbiata—brings shape and dimension to the concept of story. Once you enter the work, you are free to roam and fly.

Chorus, created by Tyler Hurd, produced by Chris Milk (WITHIN) and Megan Ellison (Annapurna Pictures) with music by Justice

United States | 2018
Language: English
*Canadian premiere

Crystals, lasers, monsters, heroines. Transform into fantastical female warriors in this social virtual reality experience. Six people can band together to battle evil in this epic journey of empowerment, set to “Chorus,” a track by Justice.

Canada | 2018
Language: available in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Korean, Mandarin and Japanese

Discovery Tour by Assassin’s Creed: Ancient Egypt is a dedicated mode of the game that lets visitors free-roam beautiful ancient Egypt to learn more about its history and daily life. It is a world to discover and explore; a world free of conflict, time pressure, or gameplay constraints. This way, everyone—from players to history enthusiasts and even non-gamers—can discover at their own pace or set out on guided tours curated by historians and Egyptologists.

Fistful of Stars, created by Eliza McNitt, produced and commissioned by National Sawdust

United States | 2017
Language: English

Explore the cosmos through the lens of the Hubble Telescope. Journey to the Orion Nebula and experience the birth, life, and death of a star. The atoms in our bodies were forged inside the furnaces of stars, therefore, we are literally stardust. Fistful of Stars is an immersive encounter with the cosmos that deepens our understanding of the universe. Through virtual reality, viewers are transported thousands of light years away as they discover that humans and the stars are connected. Fistful of Stars is accompanied by The Hubble Cantata, a musical composition by Paola Prestini,  performed by a 30-piece ensemble, 100-person choir, and two singers from the Metropolitan Opera.

In the Eyes of the Animal, created by Marshmallow Laser Feast

United Kingdom | 2015
Language: English

This artistic interpretation of how animals view the world allows you to explore the forest through the eyes of four woodland species. In the Eyes of the Animal was developed by creative studio Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF). MLF delights in exploring the boundary between virtual and real-world experiences. Created using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs—also known as drones), LIDAR scans, and bespoke 360° cameras, this visual experience is complemented by a meditative binaural soundscape that incorporates audio recordings from United Kingdom forests.

Isle of Dogs: Behind the Scenes (In Virtual Reality), created by FoxNext, Fox Searchlight, Google Spotlight Stories and Felix & Paul Studios

United States, Canada | 2018
Language: English
*Canadian premiere

This virtual reality experience places the viewer inside the miniature world of Wes Anderson’s stop-motion animation film. It features a series of “on set” interviews. With a selection of actors from the cast of Isle of Dogs. All of the actors play dogs in the film, and the interviews feature the animated dog puppets talking as the actors themselves as if between takes, discussing their roles and experiences on the film.

Roxham, created by Michel Huneault, with Maude Thibodeau and Chantal Dumas, produced by NFB, in collaboration with Le Devoir, Phi and Dpt.

Canada | 2018
Language: available in English and French
*World premiere
(Virtual Reality Garden)

Photographer Michel Huneault takes you to Roxham Road, the location with the largest number of irregular border crossings by asylum seekers moving from the United States to Canada. Close to 20,000 people were intercepted here in 2017, a record number. Between February and August 2017, Huneault spent 16 days here, arriving early in the morning and leaving at nightfall, and documented more than 180 border-crossing attempts by people from more than 20 countries. Roxham is an immersive experience based on 32 true stories.

Space Explorers: A New Dawn, created by Felix & Paul Studios, in collaboration with NASA, Oculus and Headspace Studios.

Canada | 2018
Language: English

Space Explorers: A New Dawn is a cinematic virtual reality experience about the new age of space exploration. Witness the lives of NASA astronauts as they navigate the trials and sacrifices of their training and missions. Explore the camaraderie of space programs around the world, and discover the latest advancements and plans for deep space exploration. Space Explorers: A New Dawn shines a light on mankind’s most ambitious journey to understand our planet, our universe and our origins.

The Sun Ladies, created by Christian Stephen and Céline Tricart, produced by Maria Bello and Céline Tricart

United States | 2018
Language: English
*Canadian premiere
(Virtual Reality Garden)

An in-depth look at the personal journey of the captain of the Sun Ladies, Xate Shingali, from her roots as a famous singer in Kurdistan to her new life as a soldier on the front lines, risking everything to stop the violence against her people. In 2014, ISIS fighters invaded Iraq and targeted the Yazidi community of Sinjar. The men were killed, and the women and girls taken as sex slaves. Some of the women who escaped started a female-only fighting unit called the Sun Ladies to bring back their sisters and defend the honour and dignity of their people. The audience is faced with the question: “Who would you be and what would you do faced with extreme inhumane violence against the people you love?”

Treehugger: Wawona, created by Marshmallow Laser Feast

United Kingdom | 2016
Language: English

If you have ever looked at a tree and dreamed of climbing to the heights of its canopy, glimpsing its inner workings, or dialling into its particular rhythms, Treehugger: Wawona is a virtual reality installation from Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF) that sheds light on this world beyond, rendering the invisible visible at last. Treehugger seeks to convey the immense scale of these trees and to question our relationship with the natural world during a time of crisis and change. MLF follows the principle that a person must relate to a subject to be moved or inspired by it. In the field of conservation, to wish to save something, you must first fall in love with it.

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