Like them or not, the public art installations that are a big part of Luminato sure turn walkers into gawkers.

David Rokeby’s long wave — 60 bright red balls in swirling curves mounted from the ceiling of the galleria at Brookfield Place in the city’s financial district — had passersby stopping and staring up.

“It looks just great. It really brings a long wave into my mind. As a person with a technical degree, I’m wondering how they managed to hang it in this way. The shape is really special, the curve is perfect,” said Vadim Iakouchov, a systems designer.

“I’ve come here almost every day for 10 years and this is maybe the best installation I’ve ever seen here,” he added.

Gidget Hunter said the gently curving piece reminded her of “DNA strands” and made the already impressive six-storey-tall pedestrian walkway seem even longer.

But artist Germaine Koh’s Broken Arrow in the Exchange Tower at 130 King St. W. left most observers unsure of how to react.

Three stacked boxes suspended from the ceiling over some escalators project words like CB Radio, Echelon and Air Traffic along with arcs of light onto nearby walls while emitting a high-pitched whine.

“I don’t even have the words to describe it. I’m not getting this one,” said technical worker Josie Diluzio.

“They’re all technology-related ... and brand names. It’s something about technology,” said accountant Camillo Casciato.

“It sure makes a lot of noise,” Casciato added.

In a darkened tent pitched inside Brookfield Place’s Sam Pollock Square, art lovers were dazzled by Doublespeak, an exhibit by artists Brad Hindson and Mitchell Chan.

What appears to be an abstract painting with wire sculptures is transformed by light, activated as a spectator approaches, creating stunning images of Greek mythic figures like Icarus and Sisyphus.

“It’s a lot of fun and something very beautiful.

“It makes you want to look further into the piece. This is something really new because it’s also three-dimensional,” said artist Claudia Blanc.

Experience art

Many events are free, tickets for others available at 416-872-1111 or the T.O.TIX booth at Yonge Dundas Square. For more info, go to

Some of today’s events:

• The Canadian Songbook: A Tribute to Neil Young’s Live at Massey Hall relives the musician’s 1971 concert; performers include Holly Cole, Jason Collett, Cowboy Junkies and others. Tonight 8 p.m. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St. ($59.50-$79.50).

• Carmen, based on the Bizet opera, shares the bill with Dominique Dumais’ Skin Divers, inspired by Anne Michaels’ book of poetry. Presented by the National Ballet of Canada. Tonight 7:30 p.m., on to June 14 ($20-$200 at 416-345-9595). Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W.

• Illuminations — Lunchtime Conversations series features Not-So-Guilty-Pleasures, with editor John Macfarlane and writers from the summer reading issue of The Walrus Magazine. Today, 12:30 p.m., Roots, 100 Bloor St. W., 2nd floor (free).

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