Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Aurora Dallas 2013 or Aurora Project or Aurora 2013 or Dallas Aurora

Brad Ford Smith  Aurora Dallas
Whatever name you prefer to use, Aurora, The Light Of Convergence was a stellar art event with a turnout well above the expected 35,000 people.

Brad Ford Smith Aurora Dallas
Aurora is an art event held one night in the Dallas Arts District that features new media artwork in mediums such as light, digital projection, performance and sound. This year all the Arts District Institutions joined in to make it a 68 acre block party.

Brad Ford Smith Aurora Dallas
This was my second time to be an Aurora artist. I selected a 10 foot square cement plinth to project my project onto, which was titled UP.

UP is composed of 63 photographs taken while hiking the back woods of Yosemite National Park. UP is a simple concept: we spend too much time looking at our hands and feet, and not enough time looking UP. By mirroring the images of treetops and projecting them onto a horizontal surface, this simple shift and change of angle illustrates the otherworld quality of simply looking UP.

Brad Ford Smith  UP 2013 Aurora Dallas

Brad Ford Smith  UP 2013 Aurora Dallas

Brad Ford Smith  UP 2013 Aurora Dallas

Keeping this project very simple is something I learned from my last Aurora encounter. People in crowds never stop for very long, perhaps 3 seconds. In that short amount of time you have to grab them with something that is striking AND recognizable. 

Swirling colors and complex geometric shapes or long slow narratives just get passed by.

With UP, the simplicity is its strength. A photo that is mirrored creates a rorschach test experience. It is what it is but it could be something else as well. The added effect of one image fading into the next so that there is a brief 4 seconds of overlapping taps into the basic human instinct to search out recognizable patterns and solve puzzles. 

The end result is that the crowd stopped. Some people watched the whole 3 minute loop, pointing out to each other what they saw hidden in the trees. 

Here are a few links to Aurora reviews and posts:
Bill McCarthy video
WFAA photos 49 and 50 are my favorites.
FrontRow D Magazine 

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