I went to the Luma Festival in Binghamton with a friend. This is the first time I heard of it but the event started in 2015. Luma involves projecting videos onto buildings, all of which seem to have some faux Roman Ionic columns (the ones with the curly scrolls). The videos are designed to be work with (or against, in a deconstructive sort of what) the physical structure of a building, including the windows and columns and stuff. Some of the videos are kind of pretentious or overly obscure. Some are pretty cool. The sound on one was painfully too loud. There was also one installation we went to that required tickets (almost everything is free). There were other things we skipped, like some talks, a silent disco and pitch black meal (both seem very unappealing). But overall it was quite cool. There were tons and tons and tons of people. Moving through the crowd reminded me of Bugs Bunny getting to his set in a movie theater in Hare Do. We basically had to plow our way through and make a gap. Here are some photo highlights from some of the exhibits. September 7th, 2019.
This was created by a group of Barcelona-based
artists and was in the bottom of a parking garage. It consisted of a
bunch of linear light fixtures that started white and eventually changed
to red, some round white lights on the floor that cast shadows of people
on the wall, a few spotlights to that shined on this large, tin-foil
covered rectangular block. As the lights pulsed, they'd make a musical
simulation of a dripping sort of noise (kind of a brief descending arpeggio),
and various ones would all be going out of sync. At the end, they all
sync up, in phase with each other, forming a kind of alarm sound and
the lights all turn red. Spotlights move and shine on the tin-foil block.
And the music plays some low, rumbly sounds that was reminiscent of
"Echoes" from Pink Floyd's Meddle Album. The bass was loud and
carried quite a way, sounding loud while we were waiting to enter the area.
According to the online description, this is making a statement about how global warming is bad.
It was quite cool and neat, but I must admit I didn't really get or understand the message and don't know what the tin foil block represents. Recycling? Lack of recycling? What the earth will turn into? Bizarro-world?
This one was weird. It started off with a space shuttle-ish rocket launch, with the building looking like a launch structure, and then kind of had some space stuff and other disconnected things that were hard to follow. Also, the movement of people looked awkward and unnatural. I wasn't really sure where this was going with stuff or what it was really about. But some of the visuals looked nice.
Mural Mapping is a project where local artists can create virtual murals
to be projected on this building. The artists don't need to deal with
the details of the mapping or projection. They are given a template with
an outline of the building and they can create a digital image or traditional
one that will be digitized and projected. It's a cool way to include
a variety of artists and styles. Of course I only found all this out
a day later when I was looking up information about this exhibit.
There were also people selling art in stalls on one street. (Plus a row of trailers selling various carnival food, all in "the key of fried.") One artist had lights in bottles. I thought they looked cool. I asked if she minded me taking pictures and she said go right ahead.
The last one is based on the clichéd improperly phrased version of "All your bases are ours" (from some old video game that poorly translated their phrases into English). The upshot is that it's video games like Pong displayed on a building. I watched it for about 20 seconds before getting bored and moving on.
This one was an interesting visual one that seemed to be mostly about cool images and not much else. But that worked pretty well. The building started out as Pandora's Box and became a variety of things. In the end it started warping into itself, sort of like the house at the end of Poltergeist. It made good use of the structure of the building. The projections at Luma use three banks of projectors. The main central ones, and then two on either side, so everything is covered. The sides of the columns all get the same look. It works quite well.
This one had some interesting bits, but was also kind of a jumble of stuff. I thought some of the animation, especially of the female dancers, looked smooth and realistic. Perhaps they used some kind of motion capture technology to guide that. So according to the description, it's about how ambition, while good for success, is a double-edged sword and cuts people off from what is truly needed, which is the natural world. And something about how turning inward and meditating is good. It felt a bit pretentious, and also the messages were unclear. While there were evil factories that were springing up, the spirit of the earth that appears in the background seems to be a corrupting force of evil, sort of like Satan trying to tempt people, but in the end it's just "mother earth" who destroys everything. Which kind of seems evil, so I don't quite get it. Also, the sound was way too loud. At points I had to keep my ears covered, especially towards the end when everything was getting more frenetic and even louder. That was a bit distracting.
This one was more abstract and seemed like it was just cool images without a plot, so that was OK. The description says it's using data visualization with New York State star charts. I don't know what that sentence means, nor did I know NYS has its own star charts. Also, it says it explores the concept that the universe is guided by an unseen algorithm. Really, if there was a story there, it was kind of lost on me.