MENTAL MAPS by Iregular – McCord Stewart Museum
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MENTAL MAPS by Iregular – Discussion with Daniel Iregui

Discover the creative process of Montreal studio Iregular and learn about the technology used to design this digital artwork.

May 30, 2023

The exhibition Becoming Montreal: The 1800s Painted by Duncan is the first retrospective devoted to the painter and watercolourist James Duncan. Exhibited together for the first time, about one hundred of his works offer viewers a unique journey into 19th-century Montreal through the artist’s many views, which, when combined, provide a vivid and detailed portrait of the city from the 1830s to the late 1870s. As a sort of epilogue, the digital artwork created by art studio Iregular uses artificial intelligence to reinterpret Duncan’s work in the form of computer-generated images depicting a composite world of dreamscapes of a Montreal that no longer exists.


James Duncan’s urban landscapes shaped the vision that people had of Montreal in the 19th century. What would the world look like in the eyes of someone whose reality was based on an artist’s illustrations? To answer this question, digital art studio Iregular fed the works of James Duncan from the McCord Stewart Museum’s collection to artificiel intelligence.

Using this data and a generative program, the studio designed a three-dimensional virtual world of computer-generated images made of layers of superimposed topographies. This interactive system produces an infinite number of ethereal digital perspectives.

As visitors wander through this virtual space, their moving shadows hide or reveal unexpected layers. The result is a unique, constantly changing experience that creates shifting dreamscapes derived from Duncan’s work.


Founded in Montreal in 2010, digital art studio Iregular creates audiovisual installations, architectural projections and scenographies, with a focus on interactive and immersive experiences. At the crossroads between art and technology, these artworks experiment with geometry, light, algorithms, communication protocols, and AI. lregular’s work has been shown in 25 countries.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

The exhibition Becoming Montreal: The 1800s Painted by Duncan is presented by La Presse. On display at the McCord Stewart Museum from June 2, 2023 to April 21, 2024.