20 luminous lights and sights from first two days of BLINK Cincinnati
CINCINNATI —The first two days of Cincinnati’s biggest festival is in the books. BLINK is back in 2019, stretching from Findlay Market in Cincinnati to the banks of Northern Kentucky. Spanning more than 30 city blocks across two cities with more than 100 installations, the festival is the largest light, art and culture event of its kind in the nation.BLINK is 100 percent free to the public. It’s designed around Cincinnati’s streetcar route, and meant to be experienced on foot — it’s not a drive-thru event.The outdoor art phenomenon includes large-scale projection mappings, murals and interactive light sculptures and art. The city will literally be glowing — from luminous facades to twinkling alleyways.So what are the hot spots around town? Here is our 20 top picks from the first two days.
Located at 1120 Jackson Street in the OTR Zone. “The No. 1 Instagram-ed mural in the city, “Looking Good,” gets lit. 30,000 lumens of light electrify this small corner of OTR. Old-school neon animations bring the mural to life, providing the perfect backdrop for pictures and pop-up dance parties. Don’t be afraid to get up close and become part of the show.’
SHADOW OF THE RABBIT
Located in Grano Alley in the Downtown Zone. “Shadow of the Rabbit is a multimedia installation based on the ethereal, true story of a refugee in Europe who crossed into a spot-lit and heavily guarded border on his hands and knees—all in the shadow of a rabbit.”
WORLD’S LARGEST DISCO BALL Y’ALL
Located at W. 4th Street and Madison Avenue in the Covington Zone.”The Disco Ball measures 11 feet in diameter, contains nearly 1,000 mirrors and weighs three-quarters of a ton. It is constructed from extruded aluminum with a reflective Mylar surface and is so perfectly balanced that it can propel itself for hours with just one spin.”
Located at 231 Scott Boulevard in the Covington Zone.”Following the success of the BLINK 2017 Chroma Projection on the Hanke Building, we have brought back this enveloping glow of pure color and pattern to transform the BB&T Building in Covington. This projection is set to 120 beats per minute, allowing the viewer to DJ their own unique show.”
BAT OUTTA HELL
Located at 1525 Pleasant Street in the Findlay Market Zone:”The energy and jolt-like feeling that emits from Biceleta’s work is unleashed like a bolt of electricity. The animations draw power from this and the viewer is transported to a world of distorted chaos via neon, pinball, radiation and electro surges. A wild ride through the depths of hell where anything is possible.”
Located at 1225 Elm Street in the Over-the-Rhine Zone.”‘Entropy’ will explore the idea of a digital decline into disorder. Highlighting the building’s underlying geometry, shapes will devolve from being clean and orderly into a more colorful and amorphous mixture. The piece will challenge the notion that degeneration and beauty are at odds with each other.”
GLASS FABRIC AND JUSTICE
Located at 1000 Main Street in the Downtown Zone.”Glass Fabric and Justice takes a cinematic approach to content creation, using real glass art created by GRT Glass Design and beautiful silk fabrics to create unique visuals you could never create digitally. While many aspects of the content are abstract, during the creation we began to draw lines between a court’s inherent need to be both rigid and transparent like glass, while still maintaining the intricately woven flexibility that can conform like fabric to society. From the tough decisions of the Supreme Court to compassion of recent viral videos of Judge Caprio’s verdicts. These illustrate the two very different and necessary sides of our court systems.”
Located at 116 Main Street in the OTR Zone.”The visitor experiences this installation as a huge, shimmering, dancing, silver ceiling. It throws rainbow underwater reflections everywhere — on the ground, on neighboring buildings, and on the faces of people. An October wind gusts through, and the ceiling whips and undulates — the rainbow reflections become chaotic and wild. The wind dies down and the ceiling becomes still, revealing the warped reflection of the crowd beneath. Silver Ceiling is made of long rolls of silver mylar sheeting, draped across the sky, suspended between two buildings. This installation is a building-sized dancing mirror in the sky — inviting users to marvel at their own reflections and those around them. The reflective mylar ceiling is lit up with color-changing LED lights, and the space is flooded with instrumental music, ambient sound, and a sea of technicolor light reflections.”
Located at 35 E. Central Parkway in the Downtown Zone. There’s no artists description listed for this light projection. But a magnificent field of color is aglow at this popular BLINK light projection.
Located at 898 Walnut Street in the Downtown Zone. “Aliennati explores the controversial theory that extraterrestrials have visited Cincinnati for millions of years. From the age of the dinosaurs in Over-the-Rhine to primitive Bitland in Covington, from early cave drawings in Downtown to continued mass UFO sightings in the Brewery District, each visual of the ALIENNATI series gives historic depth to the questions, speculations, provocative controversies, first-hand accounts and grounded theories surrounding this age-old debate. Did intelligent beings from outer space visit Cincinnati thousands of years ago?”
WAVE-FIELD VARIATION G
Located a 7 E. Court Street in the Downtown Zone.”Wave-Field’s main intention is to give people agency over the urban site the artwork inhabits. All spectators, whether active or passive, are immersed in a heteromorphic soundscape, forming an undulating field that fluctuates between surprising syncopations and abstract sound expansions. The artwork is composed of a series of publicly activated, luminous and musical seesaws. The sound design for Wave-Field takes its inspiration from the half-whimsical notion that electronic systems possess a life, a vibrancy, and a curiosity that is unknowable to us. Each seesaw is inhabited by a foreign entity, each with its own temperament and its own musical vocabulary. Set in motion, they burst into a menagerie of electric calls that resonate with the site’s urban pulse, blurring the boundaries between sound and landscape. As more visitors partner up and join the conversation, the richer the artwork becomes and the more intense the physical experience is for every single participant, eventually cascading into an organic symphony that oscillates on the fine line between chaotic and coherent.”
Located in Smale Riverfront Park in The Banks Zone. “Rainbow Bridge is 27 feet high and 15,000 pounds of steel painted with iconic colors and emblazoned with over 25,000 individually addressable LED lights. That is nearly one mile of total LEDs. It is sponsored by the generosity of Procter & Gamble as well as individual donors from the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati and the Jewish Community Relations Council.”
Located in Washington Park — 1230 Elm Street — in the Over-the-Rhine Zone.”From the Guggenheim in Spain to the Sydney Opera House in Australia, the monumental and interactive walk-in sculptures of Architects of Air and designed by Alan Parkinson, have astounded audiences across the globe. Architects of Air has toured the luminaria since 1992 and visited 43 countries. The luminarium offers a dazzling maze of winding paths and soaring domes where Islamic architecture, Archimedean solids and Gothic cathedrals meld into an inspiring monument to the beauty of light and color, and where visitors can happily lose themselves. The installation awakens all the senses, creating a sense of wonder and enchantment for all ages. Visitors are transported and immersed into an amazing world of light and subtle and saturated hues, for a unique sensory experience, and brings visual art in places where you wouldn’t expect it. It is a paradox that such a stimulating environment can simultaneously be so calming and comforting. Many people find a luminarium a place for rest or meditation.”
Located at 1510 Pleasant Street in the Findlay Market Zone.”Sitting quietly in the heart of the urban landscape is a man, on a couch, with his magical hat. His world is full of wonder and surreal moments of reflection and thought. He takes us on a fantastic journey through space and time, allowing us to get lost in his dreams and his uncharted world of fantasy.”
GO VIBRANT BOUNCE GLOBE
Located in Smale Riverfront Park in The Banks Zone. “go Vibrant BOUNCE Globe, presented by P&G and Kroger, is a lighted ball display. Bouncing is a simple movement packed with momentum & energy and this installation recognizes the irresistible invitation that bouncing represents. Watch the balls get blown around the globe with a vibrant light display and join in bouncing yourself. This installation is designed with a mission in mind: to bring athletics to over a dozen Cincinnati Elementary Schools.”
The Roebling Suspension Bridge, The Banks & Covington zones.”In the tradition of honoring the greatest of all Cincinnati icons … The John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge has been transformed into a massive piece of art via light, color and sound. The bridge is bathed in colored interactive light which enhances the architectural detail of the bridge and brings it to life using sophisticated hardware and technology to create hyper-synchronized audio that works in harmony with this beloved iconic landmark. Audio samples from the actual structure were collected to create the beautiful soundscape and an original score celebrating the unique sounds that have given Roebling her nickname — “ The Singing Bridge.” This immersive urban experience is a symbol that connects our region and the world.”
Located at 50 E. Freedom Way in The Banks Zone. “Imagine you’re hiking through the wilderness and you spot a Yeti — You know, the Abominable Snowman, Bigfoot. You’d like to tell someone, right? Now that’s the story we’re telling. It’s memorable, and leaves your audience wanting to known more.”
Located on Fountain Square in Cincinnati’s Downtown Zone. “re:Fraction” – the principle of light bending as it passes between different materials like air and water. The Genius of Water honors the importance of water to our city, its history, and ultimately all of life on Earth. The wonder of water is that it flows through our lives and through our bodies. This liquid sustains us and connects us to our world and to each other. We move water as it moves us in a magnificent dance filled with power and emotion. When we add color, we create art, building moment by moment into an experience like no other. The installation will be a celebration of water and it’s many forms and uses. Light will flow through Fountain Square, washing over people like stones in a stream; diverting and changing the flow and, in the process, transforming both. Through interactive experiences, visitors will work and play and draw light from one another as they explore parallels between light and water.
GLASS FABRIC AND JUSTICE
Located at 1000 Main Street, the Hamilton County Courthouse, in the Downtown Zone. “Glass Fabric and Justice takes a cinematic approach to content creation, using real glass art created by GRT Glass Design and beautiful silk fabrics to create unique visuals you could never create digitally. While many aspects of the content are abstract, during the creation we began to draw lines between a court’s inherent need to be both rigid and transparent like glass, while still maintaining the intricately woven flexibility that can conform like fabric to society. From the tough decisions of the Supreme Court to compassion of recent viral videos of Judge Caprio’s verdicts. These illustrate the two very different and necessary sides of our court systems.”
Tens of thousands of people gathered downtown Cincinnati Thursday for the BLINK light parade. The parade featured more than 3,000 participants and groups from across the city and beyond, lighting up the streets with luminous floats, puppets, musicians and performers. World-renowned chef Jean-Robert Cavel was the event’s grand marshal.