Bee Cave BuzzFest Light Festival

Submitted by Deby Childress

7+

Client: City of Bee Cave, Texas and Hill Country Galleria Retail Center and Bee Cave Arts Foundation

Location: Bee Cave, TX, United States

Completion date: 2020

Project Team

Curator and Technical Director

Barna Kantor

dadaLab

Curator and Video Projections

Kyle Evans

dadaLab

Light Engineer

Matt Smith

University of Texas at Austin

Composer

Lyman Hardy III

Stuckonon

Flow Artist

Dalton Sessumes

Mindworks Arts

Engineer

Emmitt Palaima

Hammerhead Audio

Overview

A public art project featuring the integration of light, art, and sound. This free three day event hosted by the Bee Cave Arts Foundation, a community based nonprofit arts organization, in collaboration the City of Bee Cave and the Hill Country Galleria transformed this retail center and the surrounding streets into an open-air, urban playground of new media art. Barna Kantor and Kyle Evans of dadaLab, an organization working at the intersection of art, science, and technology, curated the event.

The entire Central Plaza became a large-scale art and sound installation with architectural projection mapping, immersive multichannel surround sound and motion-based lighting design, original electronic music compositions, and choreographed performances featuring light-reactive props and costumes. The surrounding streets were also filled with additional light and video art installations with street performers.

Audiences were delighted with the light art festival. This event was something new and different and the public was able to experience art in a whole new light.

Goals

Our goal was to create a seamless integration of all the elements needed to create an expansive public event of new media art. This could only be realized through a collaborative effort involving many skilled artists and technologists. A variety of talented individuals and teams were commissioned to make this project a reality. Technical engineers, lighting designers, video projection artists, technical directors, sound engineers, composers, choreographers, flow artists, hardware designers, and costume designers were all needed. There were also equipment rentals, construction crews, and more to create the light art installations and the new video projection/stage area with a 75ft wide and 18 ft tall backdrop as the focal point for this multimedia event.

With this combined creative effort, we built a collaborative community that merged culture, technology, creativity, and education. The resulting event provided an immersive experience with art, light, design, and technology for discovery, exploration, performance and just plain fun for all involved.

Process

The Bee Cave BuzzFest was created by an interdisciplinary team of artists, designers, technologists, engineers, and creative entrepreneurs to create a huge art and sound installation with video art projections, immersive multichannel sound, original electronic music compositions, and choreographed performances featuring light-reactive props and costumes.

Key personnel were identified, and commissioned. Then group discussions took place with the curators on the concepts and ideas surrounding the event theme, the bioluminescence of the Twilight Zone in the ocean. The focus was to create stunning video projections, immersive electronic sounds and performances inspired by these deep-sea creatures that light up the ocean.


The original electronic composition provided the foundation and inspiration. From that each team started creating their part of the vision. Video projections of ocean inspired images were reactive to the rhythm of the music. Light patterns of 122 spotlights followed the beat of the music creating an amazing ambiance. Choreographed flow artists in light costumes moved with the flow of the sound. When the teams came back together all the elements worked in unison to create cohesive immersive installations and performances

Additional Information

The inaugural event of BuzzFest was themed the “Twilight Zone” for the existential light festival taking place in the deep ocean where only 1% of sunlight reaches its inhabitants. The twilight zone creatures of the sea signal and deceive each other via spectacular bioluminescence. We dove deep into that ocean of bioluminescence with stunning video projections and immersive electronic sounds inspired by these ocean creatures. During a year of lockdown this public art event allowed people to safely go out and enjoy unique artistic experiences for the first time in what had been a very dark year. The city’s windows and spaces were transformed into an innovative art gallery through the support of the city and local businesses. This event was an invitation to take a creative journey through the city once again and to bring joy and light to the residents and visitors in this time of need. The arts are an important element within a healthy community and contribute to the overall quality of life. These light art installations brought people together and engage, shining a spotlight on how the arts are essential to our lives, to our communities, to our economies, and to our future.