Cirque Eloize iD

September 5, 2011 at 11:13 pm (Art, Miami, performing arts, technology, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

The final South Florida performance of Cirque Eloize iD was a visual feast. The technical direction and set design of the show are flawless. As for the story, I’m not sure I followed it. In fact, I’m not sure there is one. The show begins with a love scene that involves some very nice floor based gymnastics and lifts along with an act on a Chinese Pole and some break dance fighting. After that the plot is not really present and seems to be a jumbled mess of incongruent story lines. The only way that I  picked up on this being like West Side Story is that it says so in the promo: West Side Story Meets Hip Hop. I definitely got the hip hop vibe. Although it added to the story, they used break dancing for filler every chance they got, sometimes needlessly. I personally think that their “fights” would be much more dynamic if they incorporated more capoeira techniques instead of trying to make break dancing look like fighting.

Story aside it was a beautiful show. The acts included traditional Cirque performances – aerial lyra, strength acts mixed with choreography, balancing acts, juggling, a contortionist, Cyr wheel and aerial silks. Newer performances were incorporated like jump rope, rollerblading, powerskips and BMX stunts (including audience participation). The one act that really seemed to impress the audience was the trampo-wall act, which involved the entire troupe. This act worked seamlessly with the stage decor, which incorporated trap doors, moving platforms, and digital imagery across it’s various surfaces as each performer did tricks and stunts up the many surfaces of the wall. Throughout the show I could pick up that the performers were tired – and rightfully so, they’ve been performing a rigorous schedule over the last month plus here in South Florida.

Coming from more of a backstage and technical background, the set design is what really impressed me. At any given time nearly every face of the stage design had digital imagery on it. This was accomplished through 9 projectors that must have overlapped with seamless edge-blending or overlapping projection and some major keystoning. The effect allowed for scenes to change while keeping the projection from being fully eclipsed by a performer’s body or other set piece. This is quite an accomplishment as the performers were up against the projection surface for much of the show.

Miami was the last leg of the US tour schedule, but if you have a chance to Cirque Eloise iD, I would take it. The visual experience of the technology behind the show along with the cirque acts is worth it. They even encourage audience participation through live lobby and house video along with constantly updated twitter and text feeds projected on stage.

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U2 360 MIA

July 1, 2011 at 10:05 am (Design, Florida, Miami, South Florida, technology, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Taken with a Blackberry

Imagine a structure 164 feet tall, that uses 120 trucks to move and several days to assemble. Now imagine that same structure surrounded by 50,000 to 300,000 people per tour stop; pretty impressive, right?

June 29th U2 landed their space ship like stage in Sun Life Stadium. This monster stage – the largest touring stage ever built – looks like a giant claw or a structure built by NASA. The stage has four legs that support a center column of LCD screens, speaker stacks, and even four aerial lighting platforms that 12 crew strap in to and get hoisted into positions within the legs. A giant spire looks as though it’s been thrust through the whole apparatus, and the stage has two concentric circles of performance platforms. There was a lot of buzz about both the stage and the tour when I went to LDI in 2009, but even with the advanced knowledge I couldn’t grasp the magnitude of this concert.

The idea of the stage, as the “360” tour name suggests, is a concert in the round. Instead of the traditional stage flanked by speaker stacks and fans only concentrated in one direction, the fans literally surround the stage. This stage did everything functionally and SFX wise that I was hoping for. Whenever I’d say “it would be cool if…” all of sudden that very thing would happen – smoke, LCD screens moving, elevator systems for bringing equipment on stage, even the ramps that span from the inner circle to the outer circle moved! With 432 speakers distributed between eight speakers stacks the sound quality was excellent no matter where you sat. This was truly a feast for the eyes and a massage for the ear drums.

U2s songs reverberated through the stadium and the crowd was so in tune to it that you could feel it. Yes in the way you do at a normal concert where you feel the bass and the music, but there was more than that. As people were clapping, stomping, and jumping I could actually feel the vibrations through the steel of the prestressed concrete of the stadium. This was both really cool, and a little disconcerting all at the same time. My mind kept bouncing between enjoying the show and worrying about the stadiums mechanical resonance and how that affected the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Obviously the fans did not cause the stadium to shake itself apart, or you would be reading about somewhere else than my blog.

This was one impressive concert. We left the stadium visually stimulated, physically resonated, and all over tired. If you want to check the tour out, there are only 10 stops left of the 109 scheduled on the tour. So get your tickets or watch it online!

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What The Flugtag!

July 13, 2010 at 10:45 am (Florida, free, Miami, social event, Social Events & Networking, South Florida, Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Saturday, July 10th,  Miami witnessed Red Bull’s Flugtag for the first time in 6 years. The event, put on by the energy drink, travels to various cities around the country each year encouraging inhabitants to build flying machines that they will hurl off a 30’ platform into the water to see if they can fly.

In 2004 I was part of the team “Camel Skiing” from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, but this time I wasn’t able to get enough people, nor enough time, to gather a team of wanna-be aviators. Luckily the company I work for, Sixth Star Entertainment, was asked to build not one, but two of these machines. The first was built for Telemundo over the course of two days and was used for the test flight on Friday. The second, built in only one day, was to celebrate the signing of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to the Miami Heat.

Enough stroking my ego – back to the main event! I have never seen Bayfront Park packed by so many people. The estimated number of spectators was between 80,000 and 100,000! That’s a lot of people in one area on one day, even for Miami. No matter where, or when, the Flugtag event you are guaranteed that the flying machines will be impressive (most will not fly) and that you will be entertained. At this year’s Miami event all walks of life were represented: from Luchadores to Beer Connoisseurs, Ibis to Rubber Ducky, rednecks in Mullets and even a giant wedding cake by a couple who is getting married at the event! Flugtag was wrapped up by a show from the U.S. Coast Guard who flew in a helicopter to pluck the Coast Guard’s Flugtag Pilot from the water.

We need more Flugtags in South Florida! We have some annual events like the Coconut Grove Bed Race, but nothing really compares to the creativity and overall experience of a good Flugtag.

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Visionary Expo 2009

October 12, 2009 at 10:20 pm (Art, Florida, Miami, networking, social event, South Florida, Uncategorized) (, , , )

Visionary-Expo

This weekend the DoubleTree Miami Mart Hotel & Exhibition Center played host to Visionary Expo. What is the Visionary Expo you may ask? Here’s what the website tells us: “Visionary Expo is the first tattoo and art festival of it’s kind concentrating on visionary art, tattooing, music, and performance art. The world’s finest tattoo artists and painters will be there fused in live painting sessions…”

As soon as you approached the entrance of the exhibition center the hum of tattoo machines let you know what this expo was about, but throughout the weekend the show had several other artistic expressions featured. Artwork by Chet Zar was shown in one booth, and local graffiti artists Crome, and MSG Cartel were on hand with Eazy Street Gallery. In the back of the room painting seminars went on all weekend. There was a fashion show, contests, core suspension show, and even ongoing circus performances by Cirque Du Macabre from Florida Circus Art School,LLC.

The show included tattoo artists from around the globe, including Taiwan Tattoo. South Florida was represented very well with artists Federico Ferroni, Miki Foged, Dicky Magoo, and shops like Chico’s Marked 4 Life, Black Sparrow Tattoo Company, and Salvation Tattoo Lounge among others.

The show was an interesting experience. I only attended on Sunday, so I missed some of the more interesting performances. Next time they have a show I’ll have to check it out before the last day.

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Art + Design Night – October

October 11, 2009 at 11:35 pm (Art, Art + Design Night, Art Event, Branding, Design, Design Events, Florida, free, Gallery Opening, Graphic Design, Illustration, Miami, networking, News, Social Events & Networking, South Florida, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Miami-Art+Design

October’s Art + Design Night in the Miami Design District proved to have something a little different this month – live entertainment with tribal drumming, classic violin, and spoken word poetry. While walking toward 101/Exhibit to see the Insomnious exhibit by Jason Shawn Alexander we heard the melodic chant of Dismas Gestas. They were standing on a corner with a gathering crowd who was watching them chant, play, and dance with fire.

In the Buena Vista building two new shows had their opening night. “Transcience”, a photography exhibit by Chris Kircheimer opened in Emena Spa, and “Beyond Wonderland” by Orhan Cileli debuted in suite 120. “Beyond Wonderland” had some great artwork inspired by Alice in Wonderland. Each piece was beautifully executed with dramatic detail and twisted humor. Suite 120 also featured the work of Enrique Machad. His pieces demonstrate great kinetic energy by showcasing wave patterns created by multicolored silicone forms laid over a colored background. The Buena Vista building also played host tothe exhibit: Bad Brilliance Miami featuring “The Faces of People He Met There.”

Other things of note were Doug Bloodworth’s amazing oil paintings and the music of Amereida outside of Art Fusion Gallery. We did not make it to the district in time to see WHIRL CRASH GO! at Locust Projects, but it sounded very interesting: “The TM Sisters will present a novel production including their personal athletic skills in synchronized swimming and roller skating.” – I would have liked to see how synchronized swimming and roller skating combine, but we will be left in the dark on this one (unless someone posts a comment to explain.) We also missed out on getting to  Swampspace to see Jukebox, an installation of hand-cut collages created on the back of vintage 60’s and 70’s LP sleeves

The Art + Design Night Gallery Walk is always an interesting experience. Many of these exhibits will be up throughout the month, so encourage you to go. Gallery Walk occurs the second Saturday of each month, making the next one November 8th from 7 to 10 PM. Check the website for details.

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RefreshMiami

October 1, 2009 at 1:37 am (Design Events, free, marketing, Miami, networking, social event, Social Events & Networking, social media, South Florida) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

refreshmiami

Tonight’s RefreshMiami was a little different. Apparently the hotel it is normally held at is under new management, and ill informed of the tech community’s monthly meeting. Luckily Windisch-Hunt Fine Art Gallery stepped in and allowed the group to use their beautiful art gallery for the evening.

The goal of tonight’s event was to answer three questions:

  1. I’ve got an idea, now what?
  2. I’ve got a company, who can fund it?
  3. I’m up and running, now what?

So in the adaptive spirit of our newfound meeting place we all sat around for story time.

First up was Startup 101 with attorneys Gaida Zirkelbach, Esq. and Nicholas Robbins, Esq. of Gunster, Florida’s Law Firm for Business. Together they discussed what is needed to start and protect a business and other intellectual property. We discovered the difference between ©, ® and ™, the different types of investors, and parts of contracts, privacy statements, etc.

After the legal discussion the guys from Worsterer.com took the reigns and told us about their company, and how three former Yahoo employees formed it. They dispelled some good tips about defining a business plan, checking your software, and testing your product.

It was a good and informative meeting. Thank you to all the presenters, and especially Windisch-Hunt Gallery for letting us use their space. Hope to see you at one the next events: Southwest Florida Code Camp, Wodpress Meetup, and Twineup Take 2

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Graduates of Distinction

September 23, 2009 at 6:38 pm (Art, Art Event, Design, Design Events, Florida, free, Graphic Design, Logo Design, Miami, networking, News, photography, South Florida) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

portfolio-review

It’s graduation season at the Art Institutes again, and once again I was not disappointed at the showing in Miami. The graduating class at Miami International University of Art and Design seemed a little smaller this quarter compared to last, but the work was equally as good. Interior design was set up outside the hall and the extra space allowed for a little less congestion throughout portfolio review. Fashion Design, Accessory Design, and Fashion Merchandizing had a good showing with a wide variety of styles represented. Graphic Design showed sound composition and design aesthetics. Juan Lopez from the Graphics Department caught my eye with some interesting 3D work.

Visual Arts had only two graduates this quarter, but both were very strong. Alejandra Cicilia showed her diversity in photography. She had some fantastic photos of construction workers in front of the Fontainebleau on Miami Beach, her fashion photography was well composed, and her nighttime photography has an amazing use of color. The work of Chantal Disler can be an event in itself. She takes watercolor, newsprint, and other mixed media and forms them into beautiful arrangements of harmony. Her branding seems to be set around birds in different forms and flight patterns. Her photography, drawings, and portraits all follow a free will aesthetic.

This quarter’s showing was very good. The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale had their portfolio review today at the Broward County Convention Center. Unfortunately I was unable to attend both, but wish graduates from both schools the best of luck!

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Shoot’n Hot & Wet on Brickell

September 22, 2009 at 11:37 pm (Florida, free, Miami, networking, photography, social event, South Florida) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Brickell

Sunday and Monday were photo-filled days. Sunday saw a small contingent of photographers from Shoot Miami converge on Brickell Avenue. We met in front of Gordon Biersch Brewery and Restaurant located a little south of the famed Brickell Avenue Bridge and Miami Circle. The small group that I was with wandered a for a while before finding ourselves at a Miami Metromover station – Elevated transportation stations are a great place to get photographs from in Miami or any other metropolitan area that has them. After getting off the Metromover we got stuck under a pavilion waiting for a rain storm to pass until it was time to return to Gordon Biersch for some food and good conversation

Monday evening was the monthly Shoot Miami general meeting. The photography theme was “architecture.” I saw some really nice HDR images that were not over processed – an all too common abuse of Photoshop’s power. Some of the photos that come from that group are amazing!

Shoot Miami’s next schedule event is October 3 and 4 at the Dragon Boat races in Miami, but there is rumor of a Halloween shoot in the works. Details on the group can be found here.

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HD Boutique – The Best of Hospitality Design

September 16, 2009 at 12:22 am (Art, Design, Design Events, Environmental Graphic Design, marketing, Miami, networking, social event, South Florida) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Picture 21

HD Boutique Expo and Conference was held once again at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The show, which brings together vendors from all aspects of the hospitality design industry, was fairly good this year. There seemed to be a few less vendors then when I attended two years ago, but this allowed for the show to be covered in only one day instead of two.

As an exhibit designer I enjoy this show. It is geared more toward permanent installation and high volume sales, but the materials and design solutions that are presented carry over to sales centers, tradeshow exhibits, and live events quite beautifully. I always am interested in the wall covering companies, specifically Wolf Gordon and U.S. Vinyl. Both companies provide high quality vinyl coverings that can really punch up the design in a space. I was also happy to see that Applied Coatings was back with a full line of their Modono glass collection. Last time I saw this company they were making their debut and had a small line of products – not any more. If you need some cool glass tile, I suggest checking them out.

Speaking of wall coverings, The Gage Corporation had a nice showing of decorative metal architectural products. They have decorative, dimensional metal for vertical surfaces, ceilings, and floor systems, and best of all the rep’s business card was made out of aluminum flat stock! Concertex was making its first appearance in the show with “Nature Friendly Wallcoverings.” The company has been in the fabrics industry for years, but decided to expand into wallcoverings that are PVC free. Some of their product line include sparkling glass beads, natural fibers, and high performance fabrics. Maya Ramanoff came out with some incredible textures and materials for wall coverings – everything from paper to felt and glass beads.

We came across some unexpected, but really interesting products this year as well. ShimmerScreen is a neat product – think of a bead curtain with metal beads that you can use to define spaces, add character, project on, or have a logo made from. The Fire Company showed off their ecosmart fire collection, my favorite by far was the Zeta from their Designer Range series. This freestanding, portable piece of “fire furniture” has see through sides, a leather surround, and can spin!

Two of my favorite new lines who use recycled and repurposed elements were Meyda Custom Lighting with their family of lights made from reclaimed wine and olive oil bottles, and LumiVisions’ use of carbonate substrates as primary materials. The color combinations and textures achieved through their system is fantastic!

The show was a lot to take in over a few hours, but was well worth it. The new technologies and textures have already started to inspire my design metaphor within a few projects and I’m excited to see these new textures and materials within my designs. Their next show is in Las Vegas May 18 – 21, 2010.

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Call To Action From The Wolfsonian–FIU

September 15, 2009 at 7:42 pm (Design, economy, Florida, Miami, News, South Florida, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Wolfsonian

Reproduced from an email by the Wolfsonian Museum:

The second and final Miami-Dade County public Budget Hearing is scheduled for this Thursday, September 17th and your personal messages to the County Commission about the value of support to cultural organizations is critical. Presently, if no positive action is taken, there will be “zero” dollars in the County budget for social service and cultural organizations.

We all recognize the arduous task before the County Commission; however, we have all worked so hard over the past two decades to build a vibrant cultural community that reflects the creativity, innovation, and generosity of our community. The arts have demonstrated their impact on quality of life, education, the economy, and job market, not to mention that almost all of the good news that comes out of Miami-Dade County is related to cultural organizations and arts events.

The severe reduction of County support of the arts will impact every cultural institution and the community it serves. It will result in the reduction of staff and seriously curtail most public, educational programs—exacerbating an already dire economic situation. Furthermore, the economic multiplier of this loss of funding is immeasurable, affecting numerous local businesses, service providers, and countless individuals. No one would argue that Art Basel and Design Miami, among other major conferences and events, have chosen to come to Miami, in part, because of its dynamic cultural scene.

If you have a strong opinion about the County budget, we urge you to attend the upcoming budget hearing and state your concerns.

Alternatively, if you are unable to attend the meeting, you may write members of the Miami-Dade County Commission to express your opinions or concerns. Visit http://artsactionalliance.wordpress.com/elected-officials/ for a list of Miami-Dade County Commissioners. Your individual letters about your personal experiences are more valuable than a form letter.

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