Media Arts: Illuminated Art


The City of Cincinnati, Ohio converted twenty blocks into the BLINK festival of art and light, showcasing projection mapping along with a number of other emerging media art forms. The goal was to create a public event celebrating the arts, culture, and creativity of the city in an atmosphere that promoted audience interaction with dynamic art.

  • BLINK Light and Art Festival

    The City of Cincinnati, Ohio converted twenty blocks into a festival of art and light, showcasing projection mapping along with a number of other emerging media art forms. The goal was to create a public event celebrating the arts, culture, and creativity of the city in an atmosphere that promoted audience interaction with dynamic art. After watching this video, select one or more videos in the BLINK series for your class to watch to learn more about specific installations and the artists who created them.

    Grades: K-12
  • Alhambra Nights and All the Flowers are for Me

    Anila Quayyum Agha’s installation Alhambra Nights was selected to be included in the City of Cincinnati’s BLINK festival. The event spanned twenty city blocks and included light, interactive art, and large-scale projection mapping. Inspired by Agha’s visit to the Alhambra and her efforts to connect traditional Islamic art and architecture with contemporary technology and Western audiences.

    Grades: K-12
  • Architects of Air: Katena

    At first glance, Katena might look like an ordinary inflatable with an unusually complex and oversized structure. But when they walk inside, visitors soon realize this is an entirely different experience. They enter a world apart, a world of interconnecting tunnels and domes saturated with light and color, called a luminarium. This video will take your students on a virtual tour of one luminarium that was featured at the Cincinnati BLINK festival. They will learn how the design team of Architects of Air blends geometry, art, and architecture to create a pneumatic, or air-filled, structure in which form must follow function.

    Grades: K-12
  • Blink of An Eye

    Blink of an Eye uses high tech to appeal to the compulsion we all feel to play with our own shadows. It is a projector screen shaped like a giant eye that the artist, Erin Taylor, sets up at festivals to provide an interactive arts experience. Some people create simple hand puppets. Some do elaborate shadow dances. 

    Grades: K-12
  • Chompers

    Chompers is a trio of abstract coyotes with levers to lift and lower their heads and open their mouths so that they can appear to be howling at the moon. They were built by the artists at Opera-Matic, a neighborhood art group from Chicago that specializes in community engagement. Opera-Matic was invited to bring Chompers to the BLINK festival in Cincinnati. The BLINK festival was a celebration of light and art with a focus on interactivity. The “coyotes” were a big hit with festival-goers, especially children. They are mounted on recycled ice cream bikes for easy mobility in parades.

    Grades: K-12
  • Impulse | Media Arts Toolkit

    Originally created as a light and sound art installation for downtown Montreal, Impulse has traveled to sites from Brussels to Boston. It was a featured attraction at the Cincinnati BLINK festival, where participants were delighted to interact with these 30 luminous, acoustic seesaws. 

    Grades: K-12
  • Kinetic Kauchii DekoSofa

    You may have never thought of pedaling your sofa down the street to visit your neighbors, but that was the idea behind DekoSofa, a kinetic, multimedia sculpture that traveled around BLINK, a festival of art and light held in Cincinnati. Festival-goers were invited to join one of the artists on the three-person mobile sofa, complete with coffee table and chandeliers. The entire rig was decorated with neon lights in the style of Japanese dekotora trucks (decorated trucks) and included a multimedia mural of a creature crawling out of the Chesapeake Bay.

    Grades: K-12
  • The Pool

    The Pool is an interactive light sculpture that creates magic in public spaces by bringing together art, technology, and participation. Consisting of hundreds of circular pads arranged in concentric circles, The Pool invites people to walk, run, jump, and dance on the pads to cause ripples of changing light.

    Grades: K-12
  • Storybook | Media Arts Toolkit

    Storybook is an illuminated diorama that invites us to remember that opening a book is like stepping through a magical portal into another world. Created for the BLINK art and light festival in Cincinnati, the piece combines glowing light and layers of simple, white silhouetted shapes. 

    Grades: K-12
  • Vase Maze

    Like many artists, Gautam Rao uses both conventional visual art techniques like drawing and building and digital technology like 3D modeling and illumination. In this installation, he combines mediums like wood, paint, and fabric with light to illuminate the sculptures from within. Whether you call the result visual art or media art, it has a magical quality that is playful and interactive.

    Grades: K-12

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