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Symphony of Light

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by Patrick Coan

Image of "Symphony of Lights," a temporary public art installation by Patrick CoanCreation: 2013
Medium: Projected animation
Discipline: Media arts
Location: Hillsboro Civic Center Plaza, 150 East Main St, Hillsboro OR
Exhibition: November 30 and December 3, 2013

Bringing light and spectacle to the dark of a winter night, the circular stairway of the Hillsboro Civic Center was transformed into a unique canvas for art. Bands of colored light and patterns like glowing comets danced over the stairway in time to music. Further enhancing the experience was that viewers could manipulate the light show, altering the speed, brightness or colors of the display. Three viewers could be at the controls at a time, playing together to create a “Symphony of Light.”

Image of "Symphony of Lights," a temporary public art installation by Patrick Coan The animated light projection was the project of artist and game designer Patrick Coan of Portland. Coan used a technique called “projection mapping,” to create a virtual map of the architecture of the plaza, which became the surface for an animated light projection, pulsing with colors that were precisely fitted to the steps and railings. Like moths drawn to a flame, children danced and cavorted in the swirling light.

The City of Hillsboro Public Art Program presented “Symphony of Light” with the goal of using art to strengthen community by animating public spaces and providing engaging art experiences that are welcoming to all. Turning a little used staircase into a pulsating space ship of other-worldly light infused our everyday experience with a moment of magic.

Image of "Symphony of Light" by Patrick CoanArtist Bio:
Originally from California and Utah, Patrick Coan came to Portland to pursue a BA in game design, enjoying the way this field engages both the left and right brain. He is fascinated with creating an artistic work that has a logical system beneath it as it beckons people to become involved. On a personal level, Coan wants his creations to go beyond entertainment to contribute to human well being.

For the last two years Coan was involved with an educational video design school for 5 -13 year olds. Game Design Academy is a non-profit that runs game camps that use principles of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) to teach kids how to design games.