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Arts & Culture

Luminaria 2013 brings ecstatic changes

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Meow Wolfe Preliminary design.

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Kate Temple past work studies.


Meow Wolf, which bills itself as a "multimedia immersive art experience," is based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, an international art destination that, unlike SA, is not known for its local art scene. But they are changing all that. With a fluctuating group that hovers around 40 people, they mount two or three "experiences" each year, and have staged them in around the mountain town, including in prestigious art centers like SITE Santa Fe. At Luminaria, Meow Wolf will take over the entire Women's Building with eight different exhibits. Light based, they will utilize dynamic digital light effects, new media, and black light, and a performed poem telling of an individual traveling through a storm. But, we are warned by a member, "We don't want people to think of this as a performance."

Art Cars of Houston

When I hear "art cars," I tend to think of several things. First, the originals: lowriders and hot rods. Then cars that artists paint up, or go berserk on adding hydraulics (usually they have some lowrider mechanic friends to help make it happen). Then, art cars decorated by kids. Art Cars of Houston seem to be a different category. Creators of Houston's GlowOrama and the New Year's Eve GlowParade, now one of the Oil City's signature events, these cars excel in pyrotechnics, and we sincerely hope are allowed to do what they do best: belch fire. If all goes as planned, fireballs will be shooting on South Alamo Street Saturday night. Walk by the street near the north part of the park to see the cars, and keep an eye out for fireballs. They may be campy, but they're fun.

The Aesthetic of Waste

Also performing on the street will be The Aesthetic of Waste, a performance group based at The Overtime Theater, which specializes in super-short crafted pieces with curious intentions. On one project, they endeavored to write pieces that were so funny, people would forget to laugh (no, that was not a child's joke). The rule was if people laughed, they would throw out the script and try again. But it really had to be funny. Smiles were allowed. At Luminaria they will stage a performance on South Alamo of the Futurist Manifesto, written by slightly nuts Italian artist F.T. Marinetti in 1909. The Futurists did some neat projects, like staging a concert in Russia using the city as an orchestra, making sounds with church bells and factory whistles, but they adored machines, speed, and progress. They got their way when all that went big time during the First World War. During the performance, motorized vehicles and bicycles will describe a figure-8 on the street, while the group does a marathon performance, reading Marinetti's tract. If all goes as planned, things should start falling apart before too long. See? That's funny, and I bet you didn't laugh.

Kate Temple

Not all the art will be gonzo. Some visual art installations will be meditative instead of spectacle. Kate Temple is a New York City-based painter who creates luminous canvases that read as reflected light on water and clouds, or quiet places in the mind. She also makes site-specific installations utilizing material elements from the local environment she is visiting. An installation in Turkey featured a bed of flowers. For her San Antonio piece, that will happen in one of the casitas just west of the Women's Building. Temple has had natural pigments—clays from the San Antonio River—collected by friends living here in SA and shipped to her studio on the East Coast. There is a story and a message, but you will have to come out this Saturday night to find out what it is. You can download the complete artist and performance schedule from the Luminaria website at luminariasa.org.

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