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The Best Art from Canal Convergence 2016 in Scottsdale

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Water, art, and light. That's the typical triad for the annual Canal Convergence, presented by Scottsdale Public Art along the Scottsdale Waterfront. This year's ran from Thursday to Sunday, February 25 to 28. Light figured prominently in most of our favorites this time around, including floating sculptures made with fishing rods and video projections of the Phoenix landscape. Here's a look at the 10 coolest things we saw.

Light Origami
Tokyo artist KAZ Shirane's giant compilation of origami shapes, which looked like a cross between a giant geode and a freshly spit-shined disco ball, lured event-goers with its exterior illumination in shifting colors. Once inside, people realized that their movements could influence the appearance of the domed structure, which includes more than 320 mirror panels that create a kaleidoscope effect.  Plenty of people took selfies amidst all that shine.

Your Secret is Safe With Me
Informed by childhood memories of telling secrets inside a treehouse and the Roman Catholic confessional box, local artist Christopher Jagmin created an environment for safely revealing secrets with strangers, friends, or family. His installation featured three spaces, all candlelit by night, designed to help pairs of people exchange secrets. But it also included a laundry-type line hung with pages bearing secrets revealed through his project-related website. 

Bruce Munro's installation has been up for many weeks, but that didn't dampen its impact during Canal Convergence. Comprising several sculptures created with fishing rods, lures, and light — which float atop the Arizona Canal between a pair of pedestrian bridges — it delivered entirely different effects by day and by night. 

a river's passing, 1
For more than five years, local artist Perry Allen has been taking video exploring urban and natural landscapes in and around Phoenix. He culled 8 minutes from 200 hours of footage to create film shown on three side-by-side screens curved in towards their center. Intending to create an interactive installation, he expected viewers to approach the screens, and perhaps contemplate their own relationship to these landscapes. But they also did something more, moving behind the screens to make silhouettes — thus becoming part of Allen's filmed environments. 

Billboard Mindscape
New York  artist Edina Tokodi created a mixed media work referencing the ubiquitous billboards that punctuate contemporary landscapes, using materials that included small living succulent plants. It's a piece that prompts reflection on how urban landscapes could be quite different if society took a more conscious approach to creating them.

Spiraling Droplets
The Los Angeles-based multi-disciplinary design, architecture, and art collective Aphidoidea dotted a Scottsdale Waterfront portion of the Arizona Canal with tubular, bloom-shaped vessels. Activated with multi-color lights by night, they created a more serene feeling while unlit during the day. 

True Local Time
Local artist Amy Sansbury Manning helped event-goers pause to ponder the meaning and importance of place by creating a participatory sundial and map. Setting the Scottsdale Waterfront at the center of her piece, she made a circular map for which every 4 inches represented a mile. Visitors got to walk on top of the map, stand on a "You Are Here" star at its center, then find their own home in relation to the canal.

MICRO - Double Helix
Purring Tiger, which pairs choreographer Kiori Kawai and composer Aaron Sherwood, created a multimedia work exploring the interface of technology with the human body . The New York artists, who've also featured work at the famed Burning Man festival, suspended various size spheres over a pedestrian bridge. Event-goers soon discovered that touching the spheres caused them to emit sound and various colors of light.

Design RePublic Studio
Local creative Lindsay Kinkade parked her stencil mobile along a grassy patch just off the canal bank, where she showed event-goers how to make their own stencils. But first she decorated paths on either side of the canal with circles of stencil art using images of bicycles, pets and more.

Rioult Dance
A pair of dancers from New York-based Rioult Dance danced their way from a grassy patch just west of the canal to the Soleri Plaza, at first donning dramatic, full-length sheer red skirts. Once on the plaza, they performed at times atop Joy Holland's cubed Autumn/Spring Pavilion: Desert Series works. Afterwards, the dancers engaged dozens of event-goers, teaching them several of their signature steps while creating a joyous sea of moving bodies unlike anything we've seen on the Scottsdale Waterfront.

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