How do you own the moon? Many have tried; few have succeeded. Lunar expeditions have gotten rockets to land there and astronauts to bounce around in the gravity-less atmosphere. Painters such as Van Gogh, Rousseau, and O'Keeffe, and photographers such as Ansel Adams have rendered the planet in all its glorious luminosity. Musicians as varied as Henry Mancini, Paul Simon, Pink Floyd, and PJ Harvey have composed thousands of melodious odes to the silvery orb. It seems in a way the Miami Art Museum has finally gained control of the moon. In conjunction with its latest exhibition "Light and Atmosphere," which highlights the ways 32 contemporary artists use light in paintings, drawings, photographs, and videos, the museum -- thanks to dough from the Alberta DuPont Bonsal Foundation -- has acquired Miami-based artist Wendy Wischer's supersized outdoor installation, Full to Wailing and Back Again. Unveiled for the first time in 2002 on the Miami Herald building, the piece featured a giant moon image projected onto a wall. Each evening the installation mirrored its counterpart in the sky, detailing every phase.
Since Monday, April 5, Wischer's images of the moon have been making a nightly appearance on the Central Support Facility (50 NW 2nd Ave.), one block west of MAM. (The installation can be seen through Tuesday, May 4.) Wischer, winner of the prestigious Alberta Prize for Art in 2003, is a conceptualist who constantly surprises. She has dreamed up intriguing works like a suit made of hair extensions and a universe made of clear glass marbles and light. For this particular project she has said she'd like observers to notice her rendering of the moon and then take a good look at the one in the heavens. The idea is to appreciate our surroundings and not take for granted the "performance that is constantly within our perception, yet sometimes overlooked," Wischer notes in MAM's announcement of the coup. One caveat: Be careful while living mindfully. Full to Wailing and Back Again is best viewed while driving south on I-95. -- By Nina Korman
Last December a replica of the Wright Brothers' plane took off during centennial celebrations at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Unlike its predecessor's 12-second history-making flight, this plane traveled a considerably shorter route -- that is, it totally flopped. Maybe the pilot thought he was auditioning for the local Red Bull Flügtag contest? Flügtag, which means "flying day" in German, is a gloriously silly attempt to ratchet up the old-fashioned soapbox derby to new heights. Contestants design a human-powered "flying" machine, then roll it off a pier hoping that it will glide for a few precious seconds before plummeting into the water. Winners are awarded prizes for creativity, distance, and showmanship. In other words, judges are hoping to see an outrageous design that won't drop straight into Biscayne Bay (though the audience might really like that). And if Liberace happens to be the pilot? All the better. The fun flies from noon to 4:00 p.m. at Bayfront Park (301 Biscayne Blvd.). Admission is free. Last year's event was canceled due to weather lousier than some proposed designs, so keep tabs at www.redbullflugtagmiami.com. --By Margaret Griffis
Film probes U.S. fear, hysteria
The day was December 31, 1999, and according to a storm of media hype, nobody in the world knew what the next day would bring. The phenomenon of Y2K was upon us and everything from terrorist attacks to a global electronics and communications shutdown was expected to happen. Everybody, it seemed, braced for disaster. Filmmakers Brian Quist and T.J. Martin took their cameras and crews and documented the lives of 4 people as they went about living on the verge of the millennium. Their film, A Day in the Hype of America, captures the greatest anticlimax of our time. When the clock struck midnight, the world kept spinning and we survived. The film will screen as part of Video Activism Night at 8:30 p.m. at Miami Beach Cinematheque, 512 Española Way. Admission is $10. Call 305-673-4567. -- By Juan Carlos Rodriguez
Although we may be completely oblivious to public art, it lives among us, surrounding us in some very splashy and sometimes not-so-obvious ways. Those curious to learn more about how it got where it is, the people who create it, and what it all means should get over to the Wolfsonian-FIU (1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) at 7:00 p.m., where "Public Art Today" will be discussed by Dale Lanzone, president of International Public Art for New York's acclaimed Marlborough Gallery, and world-renowned artist Michele Oka Doner. If anyone is qualified to tackle the subject it's Doner, a Miami Beach native whose numerous monumental public projects include A Walk on the Beach, a half-mile path featuring 2000 bronze starfish, sand dollars, shells, and other aquatic-type elements embedded in a dark granite-terrazzo floor at Miami International Airport's Concourse A. The chat will touch on Doner's work while also tracing the development of public art. Admission is free with $5 entry. Seating is limited; call 305-535-2645 to RSVP. -- By Nina Korman