Bigfish Reviews: Canal Convergence 2018

We describe some of our favorite installations at this classic Old Town art festival

The Canal Convergence at Scottsdale’s waterfront is an annual display of artwork with installations, workshops and performances. Scottsdale Public Art brings international, national and local artists together to create an interactive and educational art experience. Since this event takes place just a hop and a skip away from the BFCG office, we decided to check it out!

My personal favorite installation was Flawless by Studio ALEX. “A light installation based on capturing the ephemerality of nature” is how Studio ALEX describes their installation. The leaves are suspended in mid-air, as if they were frozen in the middle of a breeze. The leaves are made of transparent resin and colorful phosphorescent pigments, giving the piece a green/aqua glow. Like photosynthesis, the phosphorescent pigments in Flawless absorb the sun’s rays during the day to create the glowing effect at night.

Another favorite was Globoscope by Collectif Coin. This installation combines light, sound, mathematics in an immersive work comprising 200-250 luminous spheres. The spheres flicker and glow in mesmerizing, swirling patterns set to ethereal sound arrangements offering visitors a surrealistic stroll through Convergence.

If you’re from the area, you may have seen the flowing, colorful display over the waterfront’s canal. This installation is called Reflection Rising by Patrick Shearn of Poetic Kinetics. If you’ve been to festivals such as Burning Man, Coachella, Sundance, or even just wandered the city of San Francisco you’ve probably seen Poetic Kinetics’ work. This piece was designed specifically for the waterfront with hundreds of thousands of brightly-colored streamers suspended by a lightweight, virtually invisible net, allowing the kinetic sculpture to move fluidly in the wind. This piece was by far the largest at Convergence and seemed to guide you along the canal from one installation or activity to another.

With the music and performances ranging from all-female mariachi band, Mariachi Pasion, to Sonoran reggae and rock ‘n’ roll, The Hourglass Cats, there seemed to be something for everyone. To wrap up the entire experience, we jammed into the night with some classic Zeppelin performed by Valley-based rock cover band, Whiskey’s Quicker. Overall, I was impressed by the range of artwork and performance and love that Scottsdale offers this free experience annually. Next year’s Convergence is already in the works and is expected to be even bigger and grander than years past!

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