These installations were all over the festival ground and everyone one of them very different from each other. There were huge floating balls with lights in them that seem to have no attachment. As if there were hovering over the grounds wanting to float away but not being able to because the music was keeping them there. There were not quite in front of the Voodoo stage, but to the side. I spent a lot of time in that area dancing to Electronic and House music among the lit up balls. Art and music is always a good combination. They go together like rice and beans, rum and cokes. You get the point!
“This year’s Voodoo Fest, which began in 1999, also marked the first time the event offered oversized art installations from more than 20 local and international artists. Produced by local curator Kirsha Kaechele, the exhibits included “Bird Cage,” a gigantic birdcage hanging from a live oak with feather-plumed actors inside, and “Illusion,” which had 24 large, lighted helium balloons tethered together and pulsating to music.
“The art and music go really good together, like peanut butter and jelly,” said Petra Marar, 22, of New Orleans, as she admired the “Illusion” installation. “So much of art is music. It’s a perfect match.”
-Rick Jervis, USA TODAY
About Illusion II:
Illusion II was based on a previous project produced as a funded project at Burning Man 2008. Inspired by visuals of the Thailand Lantern Festival, and a grant from the Life is Art Foundation (Thank you, Kirsha Kaechele! You are a goddess!), we set out to recreate an electronic version of the centuries-old tradition. The materials were completely reinvented to enable a quick setup and be less maintenance-intensive. We rented a much larger sound system (shout-out to Invest Pro Sound/Charles Chase). Due to the rock festival environs, our goal of providing a contemplative meditation area quickly changed to rock’n dance club. It was amazing! After Saturday’s night Kiss concert we endeavored to save the balloons from the destruction-thirsty Halloween crowd (our delicate balloons were only two hundred feet from the massive stage). Sunday night we had well over 200 people rocking out in the balloon array after the Lenny Kravitz performance. We had serious issues with weather (35mph gusts and torrential thunderstorms) but in the end everything worked out just fine. I was quite happy with the way the project morphed into what it was. The lights were beautiful at night, easily one of the tallest features of the festival. Dancing and glimmering to lights and wind, we hope the balloons brought something special to the event.
With this new iteration of Illusion, we completely re-engineered the balloons to avoid some of the challenges of our first project. We went with a PVC balloon from a Hong Kong manufacturer to accommodate our budget concerns. Some of our biggest time challenges for the project—nets and pedestals—were eliminated. We custom ordered PVC balloons with a large opening, as well as hooks to hold our hardware on the interior of the balloon. It worked well in light winds up to 15mph. During our setup and on opening day, we experienced gusts up to 35mph, torrential rains and a destructive Eminem fans. We found we couldn’t repair the balloon array as fast as it was being destroyed! But the good weather on Saturday and Sunday enabled us to put on a show that could be seen from around the festival grounds.