Water + Art + Light

text and images courtesy of Scottsdale Public Art

Scottsdale Public Art’s signature event, Canal Convergence Water + Art + Light returns for its seventh year. Held along  Scottsdale’s historic Waterfront from November 9 through 18, attendees will enjoy 10 consecutive days of engaging, interactive experiences that celebrate water, art and light.

On display will be 10 large-scale art installations by local, national and international artists. Eight works will be on view until November 18, while two installations will remain for a period beyond the event. Workshops, interactive discussions, kid-friendly activities, guided tours and bike rides will add to the festivities.

Here is a brief explanation of the ten works on view. For more details, visit

Floatus by Walter Productions

Floatus invites attendees to be inspired by what is possible through creativity, teamwork, technology and fabrication. The installation consists of 12 polished aluminum lotus sculptures that float on the surface of the water. Each Floatus is equipped with LED lights and flame FX systems capable of shooting a controlled flame up to 30 feet in the air. The Floatus blossoms look beautiful during the daytime as they reflect the sunlight, but they come fully alive at night with LED lights and fire shows choreographed to music. The Walter Project will offer 28 fire shows during the 10-day Canal Convergence event. When the flames are not firing, attendees will be invited to interact with a console that controls the LED lights within each Floatus blossom.

Floret by Koros Design.

The 15-foot-tall inflatable interactive light sculpture is designed to interpret the blossoming of a flower. In the basic position, all of the petals are closed, but when people step on the pressure pads surrounding the installation the air pressure changes and the blossom bursts into bloom, illuminating in a variety of colors at night. Floret iarrives in Scottsdale after debuting at the Zsolnay Ligth Festival in Pécs, Hungary.

Infinity Crystal by Klip Collective.

An infinity mirror sculpture uses form, light and mirrors to create the illusion of infinity. During the day, the mirrors reflect the landscape around the sculpture. At night, Infinity Crystal transforms with light, color and movement. This unique animated neon light technology uses smart LEDs to create dynamic patterns and movement with digital video. Projections on the canopy of trees above the installation will combine with ambient sounds to create another dimension of interaction.

Light Flutter by Skunk Control.

The installation comprises a kaleidoscope of 30 mechatronic butterflies that have made their homes along the Arizona Canal. They vary in size, with wingspans ranging from 20 to 35 inches.Their vibrant, translucent wings approximate the movement of butterflies in nature and, as they flutter, vivid colors can be observed, illuminated at night and casting colored shadows during the day. These colors are not produced through pigmentation but rather from diffraction — light’s interaction with the fine structures found in the butterflies’ wings. This produces millions of colors, with a palette that alters depending on the viewer’s vantage point.

Loop by Ekumen designed and executed by Olivier Girouard, Jonathan Villeneuve and Ottoblix in collaboration with Générique Design, Jérôme Roy and Thomas Ouellet Fredericks. Production by Ekumen and Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, Montreal, Canada.

This illuminated musical installation, featuring a distinctive retro-futuristic look, invites members of the public to sit inside a series of six cylinders, each measuring 6.5 feet in diameter and activate the mechanisms, causing beautiful images to come to life. Loop is a cross between a music box, a zoetrope and a railway handcar. When visitors work the lever together, the cylinder starts spinning, lights up and a series of still images inspired by 13 different fairy tales appear to move. A flickering strobe effect accompanies the black and white images, similar to early movies. The speed at which the images move, the frequency of the flickering and the tempo of the music are determined by how fast the participants move the lever.

Re-Cyclone by Martin Taylor and the Chromaforms Art Collective.

A 20-foot-tall, 10-foot-diameter, rotating sculpture made from 5,000 up-cycled plastic water bottles arranged in the shape of a tornado, so when participants rotate the sculpture with a hand-wheel at the base, animated light illuminates Re-Cyclone. LEDs mounted in the mouth of each bottle are wired to a computer control system that reads the movement of the sculpture and causes the LEDs to react. This installation embraces a sustainable message, designed to inspire people to use their creativity to address pressing environmental challenges that threaten our oceans and waterways.

Luminous Cactus by Toby Atticus Fraley.

Inspired by the native cactus species of Arizona, Luminous Cactus is an interactive audio/visual installation. Inside each of the eight cacti is an LED array connected to a nearby control box, where visitors place a magnet on a slowly rotating drum divided into eight segments. When the magnet passes over a segment, it turns on the LED lights inside one of the cacti. Each cactus can be triggered individually, or all of the cacti can be illuminated at the same time. The eight segments are also tied to a six-note pentatonic scale and two drum beats, creating a unique musical tone synced with the illumination of each cactus. This gives visitors the chance to design their own musical light patterns, creating short, looping songs that are visualized by the glow of the cacti. The most recently programmed sequence will continue to loop until a new loop is created by the next visitor.

Sound Sculpture by Masary Studios.

An interactive sound and light instrument comprised of  25 location-aware blocks, when visitors move the blocks — which are essentially musical nodes that represents notes in pitch, harmony and time — they create musical compositions. The cubes report their coordinates to the controlling computer, which triggers each cube to light up and emit sound.

It is like walking onto a sheet of printed music, picking up the notes and moving them around, thereby changing pitch, rhythm, melody and harmony. In this way, participants are creating physical and sonic structures collectively and simultaneously.

Iceberg by ATOMIC3 and APPAREIL Architecture in collaboration with Jean-Sébastien Côté and Philippe Jean. Co-production of the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership and Illuminart, created for the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE festival.

A playful, immersive, light and sound installation, it tells the story of an iceberg from its calving into Arctic waters to its final melting near a southern shore. In their natural state, the crevasses within an iceberg resonate like gigantic organ pipes whose tonalities change as the iceberg gradually melts. Inspired by this monumental and natural musical instrument, Iceberg consists of a series of 14-illuminated metallic arches that are trigged to create sound and light when people pass through each arch. Arranged as a tunnel, the arches beckon visitors to enter, listen to and play this giant organ, whose notes and light travel from end-to-end of the musical corridor. Human activity “warms up” these ice monuments and transforms their original nature into a visual and auditory symphony.

ARIZONA! by Choi+Shine Architects

A hand-crocheted lace ribbon measuring 8-feet wide and more than 600- feet long will elegantly meander over and around the Arizona Canal emain installed until April, 2019. During the Spring 2018 Canal Convergence event, Choi+Shine Architects visited the Scottsdale Waterfront to explain their project and engage the public in participating. A number of hand-crocheted designs were dispersed to more than 100 experienced crochet volunteers in Arizona and beyond. These volunteers worked independently, using the designs as a guide, to craft their own additions to the massive installation.