The city of Cincinnati showcased an art attraction unlike any before.
They presented a light and art event that featured light-based sculptures and installations large scale architectural projection mapping and brand-new murals and interactive art. Projection mapping, according to BLINK’s website, is the art of turning unusual or irregularly shaped objects, such as buildings, into a video production surface.
“Using specialized software, the artist is able to make the space come alive with animations, optical illusions and notions of movement,” the website reads. “BLINK featured different light show projects, art installations, murals and several performances. All of these were spread across 20 blocks from Cincinnati’s Banks to Findlay Market.”
The event started with a parade throughout downtown that featured over 2,000 participants, including members from local school, civic and church groups. These members illuminated themselves by wearing glow sticks, creating illuminating floats and riding bikes with blinking lights, all while walking down Vine Street from Findlay Market to Washington Park.
The actual light projections ranged from interactive shows that engaged guests, projections that interacted with already existing murals on the streets on Cincinnati and intricate light patterns and short videos that were projected onto sides of buildings.
One specific light show called “Moons of Slumberland” featured a light projection in which the artist, Epipheo Studios, created an animation that interacted with the pre-existing comic book mural. The designers created a story around each of the six panels and brought it to life.
Another truly incredible part of this event was a live interactive video called “Faces in the Crowd.” The live interactive video consisted of audience members’ faces to remind viewers of the connectivity we have as humans and the desire to engage with one another through art, as stated on the description of the exhibit.
“This experimental projection and art installation combines music and video to draw our community together in a joyful expression of unity and inclusion,” reads the description.
Downtown was swarming with visitors of all ages. There were several smaller interactive areas such as a playful work of art called “The Pool.” This exhibit has been so popular that it has been featured at more than 20 nationally and internationally-based light festivals in eight different countries.
“As visitors enter ‘The Pool’ and step on the pads, effects of light and color come to life,” the description of the exhibit says. “‘The Pool’ encourages participation and play among all ages as users leap from one pad to another, using collaborative movement to create an enchanting environment.”
Emma Horstman, a second-year marketing and real estate student said that BLINK was unlike anything she had ever seen. “I loved the atmosphere of downtown Cincinnati during BLINK,” she said. “It was an awesome experience to be able to come to an event that is so unique.”
An installation called “Impulse” featured interactive and illuminated seesaws that responded and transformed when they were in motion. The idea behind this installment is to make an ever-changing event created by the public as well as embodying ideas of serialism, repetition and variation to produce zones of intensity and calm within a large public space, according to BLINK’s website.
Second year criminal justice major, Ally Williams mentioned how the experience was one of a kind.
“The atmosphere of the night made for a unique experience,” Williams said. “It was nice to see creativity on such a big canvas.”