Monday, September 29, 2008


Further proof that Tucson is home to an extremely creative and active artist community is the annual performance art celebration called GLOW.

What makes GLOW such a unique experience is the fact that it is held in an outdoor field, at night, with several of the pieces being inter-active. How can you see artwork outdoors at night? Simple. Every piece incorporates light of one type or another. LEDs, flashlights, computer projectors, Christmas tree lights, etc. Just about anything that gives off illumination was used to light up the various pieces of art.

GLOW is held each year at the Triangle L Ranch in Oracle, a small town just north of Tucson. This year the event was held on September 12 and 13 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Admission was $10 for adults, $5 for kids.

Fun is the best way to describe the event. Attendees are encouraged to wear lighted clothing, and a glow-stick wrist band is handed out to everyone as they enter the gate.

Glowing eyeMiniature lights are used to light the path that winds through the grounds to take you to the various presentations. Our first stop was in front of an ‘alien’ that lit up when he spoke to the earthlings gathered in front of him. Whenever he wanted to emphasize a particular point in his speech, bubbles would burst forth from metallic openings in his body.

A short walk into a valley revealed a miniature solar system, complete with a flying saucer.

The glow - Solar SystemOne of my favorites was an area set up with a computer projector and sound system that broadcast eerie voices and sounds choreographed with ever-morphing images projected on a large white sheet. Kind of like an other worldly screen saver.

Even more cool technology was used to create an interactive heart monitor. Two large tom-tom drums were lit from inside, and connected to wired handles. When you grabbed the handle, sensors on it translated your heartbeats into drumbeats.

Shadow puppetsFurther down the path was a shadow puppet theater that, while not driven with lots of technology, was just as much fun as any of the high tech presentations.

If you missed The Glow this year, you’ll have to wait approximately 364 nights for the next one. It’s worth the wait. The experience is sure to leave you with a warm, um, glow inside.

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