Baltimore: Light City

Standing at the edge of the pier waving my arms, neon colors flashed with every move. I spotted a girl across from me on the other side of the water. She was waving her arms too. Each time she or I raised our hands up, the sudden movement triggered a change in the glowing colors flashing overhead. I looked down at the video screen before me and there she was, my partner. It was like we were talking, but with lights instead of words. Our disjointed dancing created an unspoken language that allowed us to communicate from opposite sides of the water. We continued to wave and flash colors at each other until our arms got tired. Exhilarated and slightly bewildered, she and I went our separate ways.

This was just one of the many interactive exhibits created for Baltimore’s Light City festival held this past week at the Inner Harbor. Light City–a celebration of art, music, food, and most importantly… LIGHTS–was just as entertaining as it was breathtaking. As a first-timer to the festival I was impressed by the innovation and extravagance of each light exhibit. There were glowing colors as far as the eye could see, all designed to be interacted with. The joining of light with sound and color was enthralling.

The most captivating exhibit that I engaged with was a series of round electric pads placed in a circle across the lawn. All of the pads were lit up and changed colors periodically. When I stepped onto the pad it changed into a pulsating rainbow. I found myself walking round and round, again and again. The patterns illuminated patterns were mesmerizing. I’m almost certain that collaborating with other Charm City visitors to make the artist’s vision come alive was just as much fun for me as it was for the toddlers hopping from pad to pad behind me…



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