Waking the Monster at Illuminus

Posted October 13, 2015 by Erica Marchant in Theater & Arts
Art Hub

If you were on Lansdowne Street in Boston this past Saturday night, then you were one of the thousands who roamed the street and eagerly waited in line to witness and document Boston’s second annual Illuminus Art Festival. The event wrapped up ArtWeek Boston for autumn 2015, and the scene was alive with art, music and creativity of epic proportions.

Every instillation at the festival spoke to each of you in a different way. Every artist gave us something different. Smaller pieces like LIFE SOURCE by Robert Trumbour and Jon Sakata, and JUST A FEELING by artist Magda Fernandez, bedecked the sidewalks around the larger installations. Life source invited visitors to climb under what looked like large mosquito nets with round holes at the top. The artists wanted to convey the story that life once thrived in the marshlands and edges of the Charles River.

Onlookers expressed a bit of fright over the JUST A FEELING installation. Think: walking at home through the empty streets of Boston, it’s late at night…is someone following you?

FIT presented by Midway Studios and Studio Wareham made us feel like giant people were judgingly looking down upon us from some uncomfortable positions, nestled high into the steel beams of the Green Monster.

WAKING THE MONSTER may have been the biggest hit of the evening, turning Fenway Park’s historic “Green Monster” into a booming, echoing sound machine. Blasting throughout the stadium and streets of Boston everyone heard the “Green Monster” come alive with colorful beams of light as each strike of its steel beams reverberated with acoustic sounds.

Another of the more popular installations that lined the floor of the garage across from Fenway, BETWEEN DOORS, asked people to confront the power of personal choices and the depth and carelessness to which they are made. A large movie screen at the end of the line calculated everyone’s decisions revealing trends and insights into how different people take different paths in life based on the choices they make along the way.

Artists Cedric Douglass and Kyle Brandse collaborated in a live presentation to join intricate Graffiti art with motion video using spray paint and performance art. However, the longest lines of the evening were found around to two pieces. A BIT IN THE ABYSS by metaLab tried to capture all the internet knowledge of the world into flashing lights and sounds bouncing off mirrors inside a large shipping container. In YOUR HEART IS A PRISM Kevin Clancy created an introspective environment with video, light and music using prisms, crystals and different lenses to throw the light and sounds around.

My personal favorite happened to be the small piece, UNTITLED (1995-2007). At first glance it looks as though a group of old tube TV’s were scattered across the cold concrete floor. However, the “trash yard” art piece played homage to a graveyard of scattered bones and technologies past. Each TV’s looping static screens and painted pictures symbolized how fast technology moves and how easily, if we are not aware, it can take away our artistic nature.

Illuminus’ art festival was a hit, scoring thousands of visitors throughout the entire evening and giving artists the spotlight. If you made it out, you were lucky enough to witness creation and technology work together as innovative and thoughtful pieces helping you open your mind and see a different world.