This weekend, LUMA Projection Arts Festival will take place for the first time since 2019. After a two-year pause, many artists are excited to get back to work. This year’s LUMA Festival run Sept. 10 and 11 from 8:30 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. in Downtown Binghamton. Tickets are free, but must be reserved for specific time slots in order to limit crowd numbers. Anna Warfield, production director of LUMA, said she was excited to see many artists were creating new pieces since COVID-19 has prevented them from showcasing their work.
The lineup for this year features five artists, three returning and two new to the festival. The new artists, Mindscape and Sila Sveta, will have their work displayed at 78 Exchange St. and 49 Court St., respectively. Mindscape’s exhibition, “Cosmogonia,” is centered on the idea that humans are the only species to narrate history. In an interview, Warfield gave an inside look on Sveta’s work.
“Sila Sveta is doing a piece called ‘Duet in AI,’” Warfield said. “It’s a piece that takes a look at the work of Edgar Allan Poe, and the first half of their show is interpreted by humans and the second half of their show is interpreted by artificial intelligence. It is one of those pieces that takes the next leap in terms of technology and how we present artwork as well.“
LUMA is bringing back fan favorites and looking for artists who can surprise and challenge their audience by pushing the boundaries of artwork, technology and storytelling. According to Warfield, the festival wants to showcase new and interesting artwork to the community and retain fan-favorite artists like Maxin10sity and Light Harvest, whose exhibitions “Cheerful Nightmares” and “Firefly” will be shown at 95 Court St. and 80 State St., respectively. Both of these artists will be projecting onto buildings they have never worked with before, and Warfield said projecting onto architecture can present unique artistic challenges and opportunities.
“[The artists are] considering the columns, they’re incorporating those physical features and what’s in the space with you into the design that they’re making, the artwork that they’re making,” Warfield said.
Warfield said LUMA is different from other projection arts showcases like the “Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit” in New York City because each piece at LUMA is presented in 3D. Every year since LUMA’s debut in 2015, more and more artists approach their organization to showcase their pieces.
“We look for things that will increase the breadth of what we have to offer to the public,” Warfield said. “Will all of these things be completely loved by everyone and understood? No. But that’s fine, because it will sit really well with certain people and draw lots of questions from others. And that’s what’s important to us.”
The final exhibition, “The Spirit of the Building” by Freckled Sky/Invisible Showman, is a piece by a returning artist without much description LUMA’s website. Hoping to surprise the audience and bring something new and exciting to LUMA, this piece will be taking place at 38 Hawley St. and will demonstrate a more creative and innovative approach to projection arts, according to Warfield.
“It’s more experimental than straight projection mapping,” Warfield said. “There’s more technical elements to it, but I don’t want to say too much, because part of the excitement of this piece will definitely be the reveal of it the week of.”
As more and more artwork merges with technology, exhibitions and festivals like LUMA have the potential to become a cornerstone of the developing art community, in Binghamton and beyond. Fever, the promotion group for “Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit” in New York City, is working alongside LUMA to advertise the festival in Philadelphia and Boston. As projection art comes to the forefront of artistry, don’t miss the chance to see the LUMA Projection Arts Festival this weekend, right here in Binghamton.