Saturday, September 9, 2017

Local Saturday - The Shoulders of the Past

When I arrived in downtown Binghamton, New York, where I work on September 1, it was obvious this would not be a normal workday.

Streets were closed.

Windows of vacant buildings (we still have too many of them downtown) were covered with white sheets, among them a building that used to be a bank.  Let's call this the Old Bank Building.

And a building that used to be our Carnegie public library, until 2000.  Let's call this the Library.

In a matter of hours they would be transformed for a few short hours, from vacant buildings to works of art.
As the hour of 9pm struck, upwards of 20,000 to 25,000 people (in a city of around 47,000) gathered for the show.  In its third year, the event is called LUMA, and Binghamton is now attracting artists in this medium from around the world.

It always takes place on the first Friday night in September, when art galleries and restaurants downtown are open for First Friday.  It was so wonderful to see Binghamton come alive.
Behold the Old Bank Building.

The name of the show on the Old Bank Building was "We Stand on the Shoulders of the Past".

A video from You Tube.
As for the library, it was then its turn.

It transformed again and again.

Projections on the library, from You Tube.

My video (not as good as the first one) but it better shows the crowd.
This was all "run" by the Wizard of LUMA.

The Wizard interacted with the crowd in real time.  But, like the Wizard of Oz, there was only a real man (the man on the right side) behind the curtain.

By using old buildings for art, we, in a way, also stand on the shoulders of the past.

But I can only hope that, next year, the vacant buildings (these weren't the only projections) won't be vacant.


  1. What a great idea and wonderful thing to see.

  2. Absolutely amazing! Showing this to Husby. He's always on the lookout for something wonderful for our town . . .

  3. That was a nice peep into an event of which I hadn't heard about. You are probably right when you say we stand on the shoulders of the past by using old buildings for art. Thanks for sharing this, Alana. Enjoyed reading it!

  4. Nice insight into the event, and such a great project-- love your shots!

  5. Saks 5th Avenue does this at their flagship store during Christmas. It's amazing to watch. The Binghamton show looks amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  6. That's amazing. It seems that we seem to moving forward here in Spartanburg SC. They're building two new hotels and "almost" all of the storefronts are open for business. I hope that's the consensus everywhere although I don't know how the hell it's happening! Sorry had to clarify lol.

  7. Alana,

    What a cool event! This is pretty amazing and must be fabulous to see. I'd love to see something like this. Thanks for sharing the excitement and fun through your still shots and cinematography!


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