Day 11: Incorporating light (4/11/12)

Posted: April 12, 2012 in Production Process
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Laura and I added “Movin’ Right Along” from the Muppet Movie to the Crescent City Production Playlist when we picked up lighting and sound equipment from Los Angeles Opera–and that still feels like a good theme song, because everything keeps moving in the right direction over at Atwater Crossing. Elizabeth HarperCrescent City‘s indefatigable lighting designer, asked us to include Kanye West’s “All of the Lights” to the list, which works for me, although now I am agonizing over what song will work as a transition from the Muppets to Kanye.

From 6pm until 2am for the last few nights, master electrician Nate Pontius and a great crew have been busy getting the lights and cables hung and ready for Elizabeth’s focus. They’ve been using a mammoth, amazing articulated lift to get around the installations, and instantly I imagined the next opera to involve an elaborate choreography of these beautiful machines. (Although I suppose La Fura dels Baus’s Ring Cycle in Valencia may have already beat me to this punch.)

What I love about Elizabeth’s lighting concept is how integrated and architectural it is to the sculpture–and it was exciting to see Katie discover the lighting instruments in her Junk Heap this morning! Katie put it beautifully when she said, “We’re so used to working in a white box, and now with my work in a black box, I’m realizing how important the lighting is for people to perceive the work.” All of the artists mention their interaction with a lighting designer as one of the chief fascinations of working on this project, and I can’t wait for them to see their work illuminated in a way they probably never have before.

In the case of Jeff’s Hospital, versa tubes generously lent to us by LA Opera will create a very distinct lighting environment between interior and exterior:

I’m also excited about how light and darkness in alteration will shift our perceptions of these amazing installations over the course of the long night of the opera’s events:


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