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At a Greek-revival building in downtown New Orleans, hundreds of people sat cross-legged right off the main road. A clock projected a countdown from 20 seconds, with voices joining in and chanting as the numbers neared 1.

Suddenly, the white marble columns were washed in color. Light flashed across the building, turning it from green, to orange, to red, and, at one point, turning into falling water and a sea of flames.

This was the opener of last year’s Light Up NOLA Arts, or LUNA Fete, a celebration of local art and architecture that mixed contemporary video-mapping and auditory production practices in interactive presentations and art installations.

Luna Fete, 2014

Jen Lewin studios, via Facebook

Miwa Matreyek, via Facebook

The Arts Council of New Orleans, the city’s official art agency, put on this multimedia event, which blends urban architecture with public art. LUNA Fete 2015 is the second installment of a five-year celebration that will culminate in the New Orleans’ Tricentennial in 2018.

LUNA Fete will begin this year with an interactive video-mapping exhibition at Gallier Hall on Nov. 29. The one hundred year old building, once the site of New Orleans’ City Hall, will be given new life thanks to La Maison Production’s technical display.

Video-mapping projection is fast becoming the chosen medium for expression by new and emerging digital artists. A computer program is used to map an irregular object, like a building face, allowing an artist to project images, still or moving, onto an irregular object. Presentations with video-mapping projection have been done all over the world at similar celebrations, such as Boston’s Illuminus or New York City’s Festival of Lights.

LUNA Fete fuses the city's growing tech community with the existing cultural experience. Kim Cooke, President of the Arts Council of New Orleans

Kim Cook, president and chief executive office of the Arts Council New Orleans, was excited that the Arts Council was able to this cutting-edge artistic form to New Orleans.

LUNA Fete fuses the city’s growing tech community with the existing cultural experience,” she said.

In addition to the Gallier Hall presentation, other artists throughout the city will use emerging technologies in an attempt to create an integrated experience between art and observer. This year, three artists, hand-picked by the Arts Council, will be putting on full-scale, immersive artistic installations for LUNA Fete.

The Pool by Jen Lewin Studios

During a camping trip at 18, Lewin was deeply touched by water left from Australia’s deep tide. “It left pools of water for as far as you can see. When the moon came out, light reflected in these tide pools and it was beautiful.”

She spent sixteen years trying to recreate that moment in her installation, “The Pool.” Hundreds of lit up concentric circles with interactive pads mimic the swirling colors of Australia’s tide pools.

Though ephemeral in inspiration, “The Pool” is designed to be interacted with in a very real, tactile. “It’s been walked, run, jumped, biked, skated and, in one case, driven over,” said Lewin.

“The Pool” will be at Lafayette Square from Nov 29 – Dec. 6.

OCUBO

OCUBO is a collaborative workshop comprised of fourteen artists in the fields of digital design, multimedia arts, 3D animation, and film projection. OCUBO specializes in video-mapping.

For LUNA Fete, OCUBO is putting on a multimedia theatrical production at Ashe’s Power House Theatre. OCUBO will project a play onto the building, with local child actors and actresses playing essential roles in bringing the presentation to life. The work of local artist Terrance Osborne will also be incorporated into the full-length work.

Miwa Matrayek

The last of the installations comes from multimedia artist Miwa Matrayek. Matrayek uses a combination of acting, lighting, video projection, animation, and sound to create surreal cinematic experiences.

Her time at LUNA Fete will showcase two live presentations at the Contemporary Arts Center – “Myth and Infrastructure” and “This World Made Itself.”

“Myth and Infrastructure” premiered at TED global talk in 2010. Matrayek reveals her shadow, shown throughout the presentation at different scale, to represent different spaces, from domestic spaces to oceans and landscapes.

“This World Made Itself” is an exploration of the history of the universe, from big bang to modern-day. She again features her shadow, but, this time, to show different peoples and their interactions throughout time.

Both presentations will be showing at 6 and 9PM Fri., Dec. 5, and Sat., Dec. 6. Tickets for both are $10 and are available through the Contemporary Arts Center website.

In addition to these international artists, LUNA Fete will have exhibits, presentations, and pieces from local artists and vendors. Their booths will be located along Julia Street, Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, and in Lafayette Square itself.

Our Local Publisher Partners

The Arts Council of New Orleans

The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.

WWNO

WWNO, the NPR member station for New Orleans, serves southeast Louisiana and parts of southwest Mississippi by broadcasting balanced news, thought provoking analysis, classical music, jazz and other musical styles, intelligent entertainment, and unique local content. We broadcast on 89.9 FM, and KTLN 90.5 FM in the Houma-Thibodaux area as a public service of the University of New Orleans. All of WWNO’s programs, including its growing local news coverage, are available online at WWNO.org.

WWOZ

WWOZ 90.7 FM is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station offering listener-supported, volunteer-programmed community radio. WWOZ covers many events live in and around the city and across the United States, and broadcasts live from the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually. WWOZ’s mission is to be the worldwide voice, archive, and flag-bearer of New Orleans culture and musical heritage.

PRC

Preservation Resource Center (PRC) has been preserving, restoring, and revitalizing New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods since 1974. Throughout its history, PRC has acted as an advocacy agent on a local, regional, and national scale, spreading the word about the city’s rich architectural heritage and the economic importance of preserving this heritage. PRC also takes a hands-on approach to preservation, with a history of successfully restoring over 1,400 properties. The center strengthens and revitalizes New Orleans in a way that is forward-looking and sustainable, yet sensitive to the city’s past and its heritage.

NOMA

As a nexus for the arts in New Orleans, NOMA is committed to preserving, interpreting, and enriching its collections and renowned sculpture garden; offering innovative experiences for learning and interpretation; and uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures.

The Historic New Orleans Collection

The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Its holdings comprise more than one million items from more than three centuries, documenting moments both major and minor. Its four exhibition spaces–the Williams Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, the Boyd Cruise Gallery, and the Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art–faithfully depict the multicultural stories of the region, from permanent displays exploring the evolution of Louisiana to rotating exhibitions showcasing history and fine art.

Southern Food

The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. The Museum is also home to the collections of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the Galerie d’Absinthe, and a demonstration kitchen.

Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all Louisianans.

The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ mission is to provide all Louisianans with access to and an appreciation of their own rich, shared and diverse historical, literary and cultural heritage through grant-supported outreach programs, family literacy and adult reading initiatives, teacher professional development institutes, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, cultural tourism, public lectures, library projects, and other public humanities programming.

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