Night Light blankets SOMArts in luminous art installations, including 5 audiovisual performances, and digital and cinematic projections by more than 30 artists. The artists in Night Light converge to create a luminous, immersive experience, offering contemporary light-based work that ranges from technically intricate and abstract to deeply personal and narrative. Once a year 800 people gather under the cover of darkness to meet and discover time-based art that is not relegated to a stage or a flat screen on a gallery’s white wall.
Now in its fourth year, Night Light utilizes SOMArts’ post-industrial indoor space and grounds, including the garden path, street-side loading bay, theater, Bay Gallery and Main Gallery to display a multitude of applications of light in art. This year the spectacle includes two new curatorial subsections—Signal Flow and Projected Personae— in addition to five live performances.
Signal Flow, co-curated by Matea Fish, Justin Hoover and Elia Vargas and on view only for the evening of Night Light, centers work about information flow, water and new visual landscapes. Visitors can explore self-lit sculptures and both analog and digital projections within the Bay Gallery and the outdoor environments of SOMArts.
Projected Personae, curated by Justin Hoover, debuts during Night Light and remains on view in the Main Gallery through August 16, 2014. Projected Personae is an exhibition about the self as surface and the construction of identity through performance, cultural drag and bodybuilding that culminates with Performance Art Workout.
Signal Flow Exhibiting Artists:
Projected Personae Exhibiting Artists:
La Chica Boom aka Xandra Ibarra
Baby Barbarella aka Krisztina Lazar
Sonni aka Linda Trunzo
Miami aka Cristina Victor
Live Performances during Night Light:
Mary Franck & Kadet Kuhne
“Carapace,” by Mary Franck and Kadet Kuhne is an immersive, real-time audiovisual performance about the fashioning of the self expressed as ornate, unfolding architectural spaces. Andy Puls synthesizes analog video as performance, appropriating and abstracting pop media into flashing, dramatic color pulsations and deconstructions. After it is mixed live and on site, the street side projection at 934 Brannan remains on view throughout the evening.
Sofía Córdova offers four videos and a live vocal and dance performance in which she embodies a history of diasporic Caribbean identity through pop music and iconography. The project revolves around a suite of original songs describing a future scenario during which an unidentified, catastrophic event has led to the decline of our current civilization and has radically challenged human existence.
An outdoor installation of six CRT television sets showcase moving images of artist Mayra Smira’s hands in the classic bird flying gesture. In sum the grouping creates a flock of birds, enacted by the artist, that relies on the subtle poetics of a universally recognized gesture. Nearby, a second installation by Smira shows the artist in the distance striking dramatic yoga postures juxtaposed with similar tree forms from Joshua Tree National Park.
Parked near the event entrance will be Eric Staller’s “LIGHTMOBILE,” a Volkswagen Beetle covered with 1,659 computerized lights that create 20 different patterns flowing over the car. The artist finished building it in March, 1985, and has since driven it on the streets of Basel, Berlin, Boston, Brussels, Chicago, Montreal, Nagoya, New York and San Francisco, referring to the roving installation as an “urban UFO.”
In addition to a multi-channel installation featuring multiple projections and screens showcasing the work of 13 artists, the Bay Gallery features a 20 ft. long boat sculpture in the center of the gallery by Jeff Ray, founder of the Mission Creek Music and Art Festival. The sculptural object “Arc and Surroundings” becomes the canvas for a projected video investigating the local history of Mission Creek, San Francisco’s floating neighborhood.
In the Main Gallery, the darkened walls and immersive layout of projected video in Projected Personae showcase video work by 12 artists. Click here to read more about the works in Projected Personae.
Portland based artist Fernanda D’Agostino presents “Pool,” a viewer-reactive, two channel video installation using Max MSP software. The content changes according to the movement and presence of viewers in proximity of the projection. Images projected on the wall pair with ghostly images filling a wide, shallow bowl on the floor. The work is best viewed by hovering slightly above ground level, and D’Agostino accommodates this by providing a the viewer a lifeguard-like chair.
Pool’s programming mimics episodic memory— it constantly combines and recombines in ever-changing layers and sequences of images, never repeated identically. A central image is of the Portland dancer and choreographer, Linda K. Johnson, submerged underwater, looking directly back at the viewer as she contracts, glides, tumbles, and hovers in a watery amnion of blue. Interspersed are images of a full moon, a burning book, salmon swimming upstream, a burning home, botanical frescoes from the House of Livia in Rome, and the words “Ars Memoriae.” All of these have intensely personal meaning for the artist: D’Agostino’s own home burned down when she was a child and Rome references the artist’s familial roots.
Support for Night Light
SOMArts’ exhibition programs are generously supported by the Community Arts and Education Program of the San Francisco Arts Commission and The San Francisco Foundation.
MEDIATE Art Group presents Fernanda D’Agostino’s “Pool” as part of Soundwave ((6)) WATER, San Francisco’s innovative sound, art and music summer biennial. Additional support for “Pool” provided by the Oregon Arts Commission.
Community partners include Bay Area Video Coalition, CounterPULSE, Frameline Film Festival, Le Video, Ninkasi Brewing Company, Oddball Film + Video, SF Cinematheque, Shapeshifters Cinema, The Roxie, UBER and YBCA: You.
As part of an ongoing partnership between SOMArts and Bay Area Video Coalition, Night Light’s performances will be broadcast live on San Francisco’s public access station SF Commons (Comcast Channel 76, Astound Channel 30) andwill stream online at http://bavc.org/public-access-tv/program-schedule/channel-76-stream.