Well, after a good deal of rain, some unexpected cold, and a little bit of worry, Luminaria 2009 turned out to be a really nice night in San Antonio. Aside from my experience with the overbearing police force (who wanted to tackle me for riding my bike down an empty LONG stretch of closed off road) I found this Luminaria to be much better organized and more satisfying to take part in. I carried my camera and photographed the projects I was able to come into personal contact with. Heres a selection of those photos, with my garbled commentary.
Laura Varela & Vaago Weiland collaborated on the Alamo this year. Vaago (from Mönchengladbach, Germany) said, in doing research on the Alamo, he kept coming across these photos with tents in the surrounding area. He was determined to surround the old Mission with 200 tents, however, upon closer inspection of the site was only able to squeeze in 54. Lauras video projection played alongside Vaagos sculpture, within the top of the Alamo.
Hyperbubble was the only real music I stood still and watched an entire set from. Not for lack of interesting options, but more in awe of the reaction of the crowd to their music. I heard more than several proclamations of “WHAT IS THIS?” and “THIS is the best band EVER!!” loudly from behind. I couldn’t have been happier.
My own piece (shamelessplug) was projected onto this old building(I was told it might have been called the Turner Magika Theatre?) facing out into the Hemisphere park, I showed the current version of my “Portrait of the Artist as a City,” a project I took up as a result of receiving a grant from the Artist Foundation. The video is made up of a constantly shifting set of over 9000 still photos, and encompasses more little parts of my life than I can begin to explain before losing your attention.
This year, the real showstopper for me was Ansen Seales 100 ft photograph of the San Antonio River. Contained inside the San Antonio Convention Center, It set the tone for the more conventional “walled,” section of the show. After talking to Ansen for a few minutes I was able to extract from him that this image was composed of 86,400 individual “slitscans,” made by his own homebuilt digital camera, and weighed in at a whopping 1.2 gigs for the file itself…and I thought trying to get my computer to juggle 9000 still photos at one time was tricky.
This fantastic ghost image of a dancer is local artist/instructor Rebecca Dietz. She was one of the roving performance artists, and a recent FL!GHT Gallery featured artist. I nearly missed her moving by me, and was glad I noticed who it was at the last minute.
John Mata, part of Leslie Raymonds New Media program at UTSA, built a cardboard room and filled it with books and media discussing…New Media.
Judith Cottrell & Gary Smith built this human like glowing form, and scared children for the duration of the night. I enjoyed watching.
Holly & Bryson Brooks decided it was best to be “Married with Paintings.” So they walked in at 6 on the dot, started working inside their makeshift studio(replete with audience the entire time), and by the time I rolled around with my camera, they were already at this point within each of their portraits of the other.
Back out on Alamo Street, Ethel Shipton had filled these two store front windows with her characteristic puffed objects, this time being birdhouses.
Kelly O’Connor was just a few windows down. My camera was having trouble not blowing out the detail in this one.
I stumbled upon this projection by Victor Pagona & his wife Sarah Susan, an artist I’ve heard of for years, but never met in San Antonio.
Sadly, I could only get this much of the smaller Leigh Anne Lester window displays without the detail of the sculptures being blown out by the harsh jewelry store lighting. These window displays will be available for all to see for the next month along Alamo Street.
I stumbled over this Michele Monseau projection right across the street from the Alamo, hidden on a side wall.
These patterns & lights can give you a general idea of what everything else looked like, that was not affected in some way by an individual artist or group of artists.
These two large scale Thomas Cummins Lightboxes, while difficult to do justice with a photograph, were mindblowingly detailed in person.
Another fine example of the general lighting scheme found that night. Its almost like that time I had to shoot photos at a certain laser light show..
Jenny Browne gave away 4 shopping cartloads and a truck bed full of books, for FREE, as her piece. It was awesome to see people swarming the truck and carts, trying to get at free books, while Jenny sat on the roof watching & laughing.
..and finally to end the weekend, Tom Otterness made an appearance with his newly unveiled(in our locale at least) public art piece, “Makin Hay’,” mentioned a few weeks back here at Emvergeoning. Some things I’m sorry to say I don’t have good photos of, the first being the EXCELLENT Contemporary Art Month installation by Randy Wallace in the basement of the old Beauty College building on Travis Street. I shot many photos of it, but none of them quite did it justice. I was also sad to miss crazy Mel Feldman and his cultural arts Kaleidoscope. Somehow 1000 artists all in one place on one night is just a LITTLE hard to keep track of.
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