Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Glowing in the Aftermath

So I have officially spent the past two nights or so googling all about the Slow Loris and the Pacific Trash Vortex. Thanks Google for fueling the fire in my neurotic ways. My newfound obsession with the Slow Loris is due to my own curiosity (they're SO fascinating... but endangered, sadly), but the interest in the Trash Vortex, a collection of trash about the size of Texas swirling about in the Pacific, was sparked by Saturday's Glow 2008 at the Santa Monica Beach and Pier.

It was the most crowded I've ever seen that area (it felt like half of LA was there at the same time), and that was an exhilarating, though borderline claustrophobic, sight to see... Initially, we just walked around enjoying the lively vibe and glowing colors. It wasn't until we came across a random floating object pulsating in the darkness of the waters, followed by unanimously asking "what the heck is that??", that we finally took the time to really read about the installations in the context that they were meant to be experienced.

I can't speak for the rest of the Glow crowd, but I'm happy to say that I now have additional memories to tuck away in my whimsical brain... from listening intently into an isolated telephone on the beach, as a poet sitting in a boat off in the distant sea guided me through a world of stars and dreams, to collectively screaming with the crowd around me as we gazed up at the large-scale outdoor waterscreen projection emitting colorful patterns in reaction to our collaborative voices, to thoughtfully discussing the floating object's commentary on the Pacific Trash Vortex days later.

In embracing and reflecting on its surroundings and the interaction of the festival-goers, these installations subtly hit upon deeply fundamental ideas: we are just as much a contributor to and participant in the environment around us, and how the environment evolves is correlated with how we choose to interact with our surroundings. While we are the stewards of this Earth, we're also highly indebted. Somehow, I feel the need to listen to Coldplay's "Yellow" as I think back on these memories, remembering myself walking along the coast while being inspired by the radiating lights...
Our experience with Primal Source by Usman Haque

-Sarah Koo, ExperienceLA Marketing Assistant

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