City Bright Illuminates First Friday Artwalk

Downtown will be infused with some bright lights this First Friday! City Bright, a new project created and funded by the City of Albuquerque’s Temporary Public Art program is giving our city’s artists the chance to literally light up downtown this fall and winter.

A total of five illuminating and thought-provoking installations will transform downtown spaces through the use of light-based artworks. From September to December, the pieces will create brightly lit spaces, some of which will be consistently on view for several months while others will be activated on the four First Fridays.

Out of 17 submissions that were received by organizers, 5 proposals were selected: The Social Media Workgroup, Lance Ryan McGoldrick, Entropic Industries, Adrian Pijoan, and Taylor Hedum.

The Social Media Workgroup is an “interdisciplinary sciart lab” on UNM’s campus whose projects explore the ways that social and ecological systems are affected by digital media technology. The Workgroups’ piece is titled “The Game of Life,” and is experienced in real time by the viewer. The installation features certain light pixels that represent consciousness and other pixels, which surround those that can affect how long its life lasts. By using the app designed specifically for the installation, viewers can interact with the animated pixels. Find the interactive game in front of The Box Performance Space, at 114 Gold Ave SW.

Installation of “The Game of Life” at the Box Performance Space

Lance Ryan McGoldrick is a multimedia artist who works with texture, light, and geometry. He has created a piece titled “Scaffolding” for City Bright. It is a scaffold-inspired installation built out of LED light bulbs, meant to shed light on (pun very much intended) the pervasiveness of new building infrastructure and the tendency we have to let “too many [older] buildings in America sit vacant and deteriorating,” as McGoldrick puts it. It is appropriately located within The First National Bank Building at 219 Central Ave NW, which was the first skyscraper built in historic downtown Albuquerque.

Installation of “Scaffolding” at the First National Bank Building

Entropic Industries is a local architecture design company founded by Jared Winchester with design partner Cory Greenfield, who study alternative opportunities in the field of architecture. The duo’s contribution to City Bright is “Virga I,” which combines the vibrant and iconic neon lights of Route 66 with the modern phenomenon of communication in the digital age being synonymous with the “light” being transported through the same fiber optic cable the art installation is made with. The piece will be located in the entryway of the vacant Rosenwald Building at 320 Central Ave SW.

Installation of “Virga I” at the Rosenwald Building

Adrian Pijoan’s artwork has been extensively focused on all things UFO and paranormal, and has been shown in galleries and non-traditional spaces across the globe. Pijoan’s piece in City Bright, titled “Take Me,” will be positioned directly in front of the KiMo Theatre at 423 Central Ave NW. It suggests that viewers call the number displayed in bright, neon lights in order to take a crack at the mysterious UFO-related happenings around downtown, right along side paranormal investigator Aurora Aura, PhD who seems to be missing, herself. As Pijoan promises, “Something strange is happening in Albuquerque!”

The City Bright project will be ready for the opening First Friday this weekend, September 6, with the fifth installation by Taylor Hedum following in the coming week. Come back to ABQtodo soon to learn more about Hedum’s “Horizons.”

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