Scottsdale Public Art announced that Walter Productions, the Scottsdale-based art studio behind last year’s popular “Floatus” installation and fire show, will be among the eight artists and studios featured at Canal Convergence | Water + Art + Light from Nov. 8–17 at the Scottsdale Waterfront.
The nightly fire shows from the “Floatus” installation in November 2018 helped draw many first-timers to Canal Convergence, more than tripling the event’s previous attendance record with over a quarter-million visitors. Now Walter Productions is returning with “Water Serpent,” a 200-foot-long, floating sculpture that shoots out fire along its metallic spine and spits sparks from its mouth. Like “Floatus,” “Water Serpent” will produce nightly, choreographed fire shows.
“Water Serpent” is just one of 10 installations by nine artists from around the world to be featured at this year’s event. Among the artworks joining it are the previously announced “Standing Wave” by Squidsoup.
This year’s Canal Convergence follows the theme of “The Story of Water,” and many of the large-scale, light-based installations will reference that theme. Most will also have interactive components. And some will explore ideas of sustainability in support of Canal Convergence’s goal of becoming a zero-waste event. The following artworks will be among those featured in November. Other artworks may be announced prior to the event.
• “Cumulus Connection,” by Miracle Wonderland Carnival Co. (Louisiana), is a series of swings suspended from glowing cloud structures, which are illuminated with vivid colors as people engage with the artwork.
• “Digital Tintamarresque,” by Izobrulo Polylight (Russia), randomly generates light-based “clothing” around visitors as they pose for photos.
• “HeartHug,” by Izobrulo Polylight (Russia), is a heart-shaped installation that only fully illuminates when two or more people stand below the artwork and hug.
• “Light Orchestra,” by ATOMIC3 and Ottomata, in collaboration with Jean-Sébastien Côté (Canada), lets viewers become conductors, moving their arms to direct a luminous symphony for the eyes and ears.
• “Permutate,” by Nicole A Banowetz (Colorado), is an inflatable sculpture — inspired by freshwater algae living in the Arizona Canal — that changes color when touched.
• “Soleri, So Laser,” by Mike Gould (Michigan), is a kinetic laser light display where the audience controls the speed and brightness of the projection, creating unparalleled patterns of incredible color.
• “Standing Wave,” by Squidsoup (United Kingdom), uses approximately 600 interconnected orbs of light and sound to simulate a wave over the Arizona Canal.
• “Swarm,” by Toy Studio (United Kingdom), mimics the flocking behavior found in schools of fish and flights of birds through the movement of light across a series of LED tubes.
• “Water Serpent,” by Walter Productions (Arizona), is a 200-foot-long, floating sculpture that shoots out fire along its metallic spine and spits sparks from its mouth.
• “Waterlight Graffiti” by Antonin Fourneau (France), is an electrical canvas, where visitors use water to draw or write ephemeral messages of light on a wall of 32,000 LEDs.
“We’re excited about the selection of artists for this November’s Canal Convergence, since our focus is on maintaining the excitement generated at last year’s event,” said Kim Curry-Evans, director of Scottsdale Public Art. “The artists selected will present artworks that engage, encourage interaction, intrigue and educate viewers about water, public art and light.”
In addition to the artworks, Canal Convergence features live music and dance performances, food vendors, a beer and wine garden, family-friendly activities, educational artist talks and creative workshops throughout the event, which is organized by Scottsdale Public Art, a branch of the nonprofit Scottsdale Arts, in conjunction with the City of Scottsdale and Salt River Project. Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation (formerly Scottsdale Arts Education & Outreach) organizes the workshops and educational activities.
Scottsdale Public Art and Canal Convergence will make additional announcements about the event via social media channels in the coming months. Visit CanalConvergence.com for information and updates to the lineup and schedule.