July 22, 2008

no glow

Speaking of art installations... last Saturday from 7pm to 7am, Santa Monica held a sort-of art installation festival called "glow", centered around the Santa Monica Pier and throughout the city. I hadn't heard anything about it until my friend Bob sent an email about it a couple days beforehand. Apparently, I was the only one that hadn't heard about it. In mentioning it to a couple people, I got a few warnings about how crowds of 25,000 were expected, good luck parking, etc. I ended up going after 2am after grabbing a beer in Venice, thinking crowds might be lighter. The crowds were there. It was pretty amazing to see so many people out and about in Santa Monica at 3am. What didn't materialize were the glows. It was kind of odd, and to say the least, underwhelming. Its a great idea, so I hate to be negative and discourage events like this, but this was weak. Instead of large scale art pieces or experiences (like the ny waterfalls), there were multiple very small pieces - like the size you'd see in a gallery. You had to hunt them down and walk up to them to see them, and once you walked up to them, they weren't as impressive as they might have been from afar. Out in the beach and outside environment, they got lost. They did make for good photos at least, but in person, not so much. What most surprised me was that only one piece took advantage of the ocean. A couple floating glowing balls that reminded me of a Loch Ness monster or something. But even those were pretty small and easily missable. Perhaps environmental concerns or regulations wouldn't allow it, but a row of tall glowing poles placed in the ocean would have created impressive reflections and been easily viewed from afar. But nothing like that was there. One piece was supposed to be impressive - a large water spray that had light patterns in the spray - but for the 2 hours we were there, it was never on. So... points to Santa Monica for trying. Its a great idea, and more power to em for going to the effort. But if you had wanted to go and didn't make it, take heart. You didn't miss anything.

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