Canal Convergence happens twice this year, as Scottsdale Public Art transitions the multiday affair to an annual fall event spanning 10 days.
It started back in 2016, when Donna Isaac was director for Scottsdale Public Art. Today, Kim Curry-Evans is at the helm, and managing the transition to an expanded Canal Convergence event.
Canal Convergence will take place from Friday, November 9, to Sunday, November 18, along the banks of the Arizona Canal on the Scottsdale Waterfront, which runs from Goldwater Boulevard to the Soleri Bridge near Camelback Road.
The full lineup has yet to be announced, although nine of 10 major light-based installations are already in the works. Several feature music or sound components.
One was created by Phoenix-based Walter Productions, and premiered at the Lost Lake Festival in October 2017. Four more originated in the U.S. Two were created by Canadian artists, and another two by creatives in Hungary and Australia.
Most will be on view from November 9 to 18. But Choi + Shine worked with the local community to create an installation that will remain in place through April 1, 2019.
Here’s a sneak peek at fall Canal Convergence offerings:
Choi + Shine Architects invited locals to participate in creating a giant hand-crocheted lace ribbon, which will be installed over and around the Arizona Canal. The ribbon, which measures 650 feet long and 8 feet wide, is interspersed with pieces crocheted by more than 100 people in Arizona, who got involved after the artists put out the call during February’s Canal Convergence. Artists Jin Choi and Thomas Shine have offices in Boston, London, and Seoul.
Phoenix-based Walter Productions will float 12 polished aluminum lotus sculptures, premiered during last year’s Lost Lake Festival, atop the Arizona Canal. Each lotus reflects the daytime sun, then glows with colorful LED lights at night. And each has a flame feature, so Walter Productions will enhance the installation with 28 fire shows during Canal Convergence. The lotus flowers were built in the Walter Productions workshop in Scottsdale, where they also operate an art gallery.
Hungarian artist Peter Koros with Budapest-based Koros Designs is showing a 15-foot-tall inflatable light sculpture that references a blossoming flower. Its petals remain closed until people step on pressure pads that surround it, which causes the piece to bloom in an array of illuminated colors. The installation premiered in June at the Zsolnay Light Festival in Budapest.
Montreal-based ATOMIC3 and APPAREIL Architecture are showing a work meant to reflect the lifespan of an iceberg, from its creation to eventual melting. Created in collaboration with Jean-Sébastien Côté and Philippe Jean, it’s a series of 14 illuminated metal arches arranged to form a tunnel. When people pass through each arch, it activates variations of light and sound. The piece was originally created for the Montréal en Lumière festival.
Australia-based Skunk Control, based at Victoria University in Melbourne, created a kaleidoscope of 30 mechatronic butterflies with translucent wings, which cast colorful shadows by day. With wingspans ranging from 20 to 35 inches, the butterflies become illuminated at night through diffraction, revealing colors that vary depending on the viewer’s location.
A Montreal-based production company called Ekumen is presenting an illuminated musical installation designed by Olivier Girouard, Jonathan Villeneuve, and Ottoblix, collaboration with three additional designers. The installation comprises a series of six cylinders that measure 6.5 feet in diameter, which collectively create what designers call “a cross between a music box, a zoetrope, and a railway car.” Visitors sit inside the installation, then pull levers together to create music and still images inspired by 13 fairy tales.
Pennsylvania-based artist Toby Atticus Fraley created an installation with eight cactuses containing LED lights. Visitors can activate musical tones and illumination by placing magnets on various segments of a rotating drum, thus creating their own musical light patterns.
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Martin Taylor and San Francisco-based Chromaforms Art Collective are showing a rotating sculpture created with 5,000 upcycled water bottles formed into a tornado shape. LED lights illuminate the sculpture, which is 20 feet tall and 10 feet wide, when it’s rotated by eventgoers.
Boston-Based Masary Studios created in interactive light and sound instrument using 25 blocks that serve as musical nodes. When visitors move them, the blocks light up and emit various sounds, allowing people to create physical and sonic structures together.
Scottsdale Public Art will announce an additional light-based installation, plus additional Canal Convergence offerings, before November’s event gets underway.