After months of development and installation, Monkey C Interactive’s first permanent interactive public artwork, Musical Railings, is now complete and open to the public.

Using sensors and microcontrollers, the back stairwell of the Bastion Square (Yates Street) Parkade in Victoria, BC, has been modified into a fully-playable 5-story-tall musical instrument with sound-responsive led lights. And people are having a lot of fun with it. We couldn’t be more thrilled.

The #musicalrailings at Yates Street Parkade love the weekend!!!!! #yyj #publicart #victoriabc #interactiveart #yyjart @cityofvictoria

A video posted by Monkey C Interactive (@monkeycinteractive) on

It actually (sort-of-secretly) has been up for the last couple months while we tested and tweaked it. In that time, hundreds of people accidentally stumbled upon it, and returned to show their friends “the magical, musical staircase.” (This was a phrase used by a young gentleman who welcomed us to the stairwell one night while we were there to work on the installation.)

Each of the 10 landings of the stairwell has 8 sensors embedded into the railing. Sounds are triggered by simply placing a hand over one of the sensors. Some of the floors are individual instruments (like a piano) while others are loops that allow people to remix a funky bluesy track by Victoria’s Jules Uno or some Glitch-hop by France’s CLoZee.

Protip: The sensors are photoresistors, which are light sensitive. They trigger when they are darkened, which means using the palms of your hand works best in direct sunlight. Believe-it-or-not, your fingers are translucent.

We built the system the allow us to change the sounds, songs, and lights which we’re hoping to do a couple times of year, and we’ve got a few tricks planned… but more on that later.

Sunset with @sealovesealove at the musicalrailings #yyj #victoriabc #interactiveart #publicart #bastionsquare #musicalrailings

A video posted by Monkey C Interactive (@monkeycinteractive) on

Projects of this scope can’t happen by themselves, so we’re thankful that we had the support of our community. A huge thanks to The City of Victoria, One Net Studios, Limbic Media, PK Sound Victoria, InterArts, Victoria Makerspace, Kindle Arts, Tedx Victoria, Byte Computers and MediaNet for helping to make this project happen.

And an extra-special thanks to the musicians who stepped up make music for the first wave of the project – Jules Uno, David Parfit, and CloZee


Still winding down from an incredible weekend at What the Festival in Oregon, where we brought the newest Registroid, Cherry, to play with all the people.

The Illuminated Forest was full of interactive and glowing art, the stages were thumping, around every corner were sensory delights, and the place was full of incredible artists and friendly people.

Thanks to all the crew and organizers for their tireless work and vision, and the guests who brought their good vibes and playful spirits.

It was a spectacular and inspiring place. Hopefully we’ll see you there next year :)


ThinkCubes at Dockside Green

by Scott on 2016/05/05

If you’ve been to Vic West during the day in the last few months, you may’ve noticed a giant structure of white cubes along Harbour Road at Dockside Green. They are called “ThinkCubes,” and they are far more interesting at night, when they become a giant, colourful, glowing, interactive light sculpture that reacts to motion.

In March we created V2.0, and reconfigured them to stay at Dockside Green for another few months to light up the landscape. We added a little more interactivity to them, made them taller, and tried out a few structural elements like archways and dangling cubes.

Thanks to Atomique Productions, Dockside Green, Thinklandia, Interarts, Adam Elliot, Joey Macdonald, Nic Vandergugten. Telus, Viatec.

Check out the video made during Rifflandia Last year about the building of the original cubes – by Kay Maria Gallivan and Joey Macdonald.

Watching people play warms our hearts <3


Musical Railings at TedxVictoria

November 30, 2015

Back in September,we had the great fortune of winning a bid for a public art installation at the Yates Street Parkade in Downtown Victoria with our Musical Railings Project. In the coming months, we will be installing sensors and speakers on each of the floors of the parkade stairwell, creating a 6-story-tall interactive musical instrument. […]

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Cubelandia (Thinklandia/Rifflandia)

September 26, 2015

For this years Thinklandia Festival, we had the amazing opportunity to build a large scale light installation and environment atop the Yates Street Parkade. For the project, we turned 36 intermediate bulk shipping containers into controllable sound-responsive glowing LED cubes. Some were sound responsive, while others were touch responsive and wirelessly communicated the colours to […]

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The Amazing Philliphone @ Rifflandia Music Festival

March 5, 2015

In case you missed it, here is some footage we dug out of the archive of the launch of The Amazing Philliphone from the Rifflandia Music Festival in 2013. Since then, it has been up-and-running at the Phillips Brewery at 2010 Government St, Victoria, BC. Feel free to pop by and tickle it next time […]

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Scena ex Machina

February 12, 2015

Monkey C’s “Scena Ex Machina” show started Friday at the Bay Centre as part of this year’s Victoria Film Festival. It is a collection of four vintage machines that have been modified into interactive sculptures, inspired by sci-fi films. One is an old 1950′s cash register that plays music and movie quotes with sound responsive […]

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December 14, 2014

It Lives!!!! The Registroid is a mutant vintage cash register that is a playable, interactive electro-house looping machine that made its first appearance at Tedx Victoria in 2014. The piece started as a National Cash Register from 1941 and was converted it into a midi controller using an Arduino microcontroller. The antennae are sound-responsive leds […]

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National Cash Register modification

December 1, 2014

Some pics of the vintage cash register becoming the Registroid.

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The Rocktopus

September 19, 2014

The Rocktopus is an interactive audio sculpture created for the Rifflandia Festival. It has LED lights and pressure sensors installed that allow users to create percussive sounds by stepping on the legs. Essentially, it’s a giant drum machine. It was installed over the festival for beta testing, and stress testing and managed to survive being […]

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