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Transformations: LUMA Festival Projects a New Vision of Public Art

I am standing among hundreds of people in the middle of what is normally a bustling downtown street in the heart of Binghamton, NY. Each of us is heads-up and transfixed by 60-foot-tall animated illusion of projected light, enveloped in an immersive soundscape. We suspend our disbelief long enough to watch an iconic Binghamton city building illuminate, decay, collapse, and be rebuilt in a fantasy explosion of multi-colored flashes and moving chunks of architecture. The immensity of the 3-D feature moving above, and the surreality of the moment, are created by a spellbinding marriage of imagination and technical precision. The vibrant imagery, electrifying sound effects, and musical scoring are matched only by the wonder affixed on each viewer’s face.

This is the LUMA Projection Arts Festival, and projection mapping is the digital wizardry that allows animated mini-movies and installations to be displayed stories-tall on the facade of City Hall or inside a historic cathedral. Details of a structure’s exterior topography allow the animators to blend and warp the visuals around edges and architectural features without distortion. The result is astounding, inspiring—a technicolor fascination. Broadly themed around "light arts," freedom is given to the artists behind the individual works to explore and imbue their own narrative or emotional content.

Scroll through the gallery below to see a sampling of Bardon's images from the 2019 LUMA Projection Arts Festival.

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LUMA Projection Arts Festival 2019

(Image credit: Marc Bardon)
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LUMA Projection Arts Festival 2019

(Image credit: Marc Bardon)
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LUMA Projection Arts Festival 2019

(Image credit: Marc Bardon)
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LUMA Projection Arts Festival 2019

(Image credit: Marc Bardon)

Each year for two nights in September, The LUMA Festival, sponsored by Panasonic, varies the offerings—new, diverse creations abound. Interactive AV features and surprises beyond the outdoor projection mapping are available throughout downtown Binghamton. Festival-goers can play an eight-bit video game on the side of a building, or experience an experimental light and sound installation in a parking garage.

LUMA is singular— the indelibility of the experience is sealed after the first building lights up with full-color movement, fantasy, and imagination. At LUMA, creativity and impact are delivered on a magnificent, immersive, and brain-bending scale.

Marc Bardon’s abstract digital artwork is a collage of physical work, original photographic images, and digital painting. His passion for music curation intended for specific use/influence is a driving force behind his creations. Visit MBardon.com to experience Bardon's unique vision.