While in Montreal, I had the opportunity to visit the Société des arts technologiques (SAT). SAT is an arts collective that was founded in 1996. It is part self funded and part government funded.
I was fortunate to meet up with Louis-Philippe, their Head of Immersion, who took me on a tour of the facility along with Monika and Maciej from the Warsaw Planetarium. Having shown a number of SAT productions at the Melbourne Film Festival, this was a great opportunity to finally meet him in person. Louis-Philippe kindly showed us around their production facilities.
SAT moved to their current building a number of years ago and took over the ground floor. Later they took over the second floor, and finally four years ago the added another floor to the building and built their own 18 metre dome, the Satoshpere, on top. Not stopping there they also added a rooftop restaurant and bar.
The SAT dome is quite unique. It can be configured to be 180 degrees, 210 degrees, or even 230 degrees, simply by adding and removing panels. Designed as an arts space, it is very dynamic. The sound system is also unique containing some 156 separate speakers and capable of handling up to 39 separate audio channels. The dome has eight Christie projectors and has a resolution of 3K. But the biggest surprise, is that they never have to slice their shows! They can play back 3K rendered shows on the system. However they are trying to move more and more to using realtime systems and game engines such as Touch Designer and Unity. In real time their resolution is limited to 2K.
Monika, Maciej and I were also fortunate enough to be there on one of the nights they have VJ parties in the dome. That night they had over 800 people come along. The sound system is incredible and the atmosphere electric. It was a brilliant night! This is an amazing facility. And I cannot wait to see where they go to next!