Illuminus Festival features a diverse roster of digital artists
2018 lluminus laser lights in DTX. PHOTO: OFFER COURTESY OF BOSTON
On December 5 and 6, downtown Boston will sparkle with the digital and light-based artworks of over 16 different artists during the Illuminus Boston festival. Guest curator David Guerra of AREA Gallery has specifically chosen a diverse group of artists whose work focuses on social, political and environmental issues.
In its fifth year, the festival will be held in a more concentrated section of downtown Boston this winter to allow viewers to see more of the work. Specifically, artwork will be displayed throughout the Financial District in areas such as High Street, Summer Street, Federal Street, Milton Place and others. The festival is free and open to the public.
Festival visitors will stroll through the neighborhood discovering and, by the nature of the projection style, participating in the artwork. Artists use film, sound, projection, light and performance to convey their messages. Guerra says some of the issues addressed in the festival include Boston’s housing crisis, immigration, environmental neglect and gender identities.
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“We are transforming the city center into an oversized gallery. It’s like a big urban canvas that we activate together”, explains Guerra. “We’re excited to include everyone and make art accessible.”
Mexican artist Arantxa Araujo, who works in New York, will present a performance in and around film projects during Illuminus. Araujo has a background in neuroscience and in his work explores how art alters the brain through sensorimotor stimuli. Her piece for Illuminus will explore how people stay connected across borders, both emotionally and scientifically.
“It explores ideas of quantum entanglement and how particles that were once connected somehow stay connected despite great distances,” she says. “It’s a socially engaged project and performance exploring the idea that Latinx bodies shine in dark times. The perception of Latinx bodies sometimes isn’t what I’d like it to be, so thanks to the commitment, to light and LEDs, I hope to change that.
Araujo will wear a costume of lights and move about in her film screenings, engaging in small ways with audience members, performing a series of repetitive motions and sometimes simply existing in space, which she says is rare. in the contemporary world.
For Araujo and Guerra, accessibility to innovative artwork is key to the Illuminus event. Araujo says, “I believe not everyone has the opportunity to buy a theater ticket. Theater and even movies are getting a bit more elite. This art form is for everyone.