All about Flight YMX

Mirabel_GateIn October 2014 and February 2016 I acquired two very large ‘Solari boards’ (aka ‘split-flap’ information displays) from the soon-to-be demolished Montréal-Mirabel International Airport passenger terminal (IATA code YMX), courtesy of Aéroports de Montréal. As part of the ongoing Montreal Signs Project at Concordia University, the signs will soon become operational again, using one or more microcontrollers (eg Arduinos).

Solari3I will be working with a Québecois/e poet or electronic literature artist to develop and perform a new work conceived specifically for the displays. The art installation will explore issues relating to migration, modernity, time, mass transit, and ‘liminality’, ie airport departure gates as ‘edge’ spaces that are neither ‘here’ nor ‘there’. By cueing up coded, allusive phrases, flight codes, and times, and having them run cyclically, the installation will thereby put users (‘travelers’) in direct ‘conversation’ with a residual sign technology that is generally associated with anonymous, hidden control centres. The signs will also be Internet-enabled, so we can text or Tweet to the displays remotely – thereby teasing apart the relationships between anonymity, authority, and authorship, via social media.


4 thoughts on “All about Flight YMX”

  1. I recently went to YMX , and found part of the structure demolished. It was a sad sight and eerie. I have lots of memories at that airport. I would of wished to have seen it one more time before it was demolished.
    I think your project is great and a way of reviving a part of YMX. Those signs are so distinctive of this airport.
    I wanted to know where did you acquire them !?

    1. Thanks for your comments, Eva! I’d love to hear more about your memories of YMX. The signs were acquired through a very long process of conversation and negotiation with the good folks at Aéroports de Montréal.

    1. Hi Fred, thanks for your interest in the project. Please see my reply to Eva, above.

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