During Art Basel week in Miami each year, one exhibit or art project is so eye-catching, so intriguing, or so visible that it becomes emblematic of that year's cultural festivities. Think Miru Kim's naked stint in a Primary Projects pigsty in 2011, or the giant pink snails of 2010.
In 2012, that piece of art just might be two laser beams, one stretching five miles into the sky, and the other reaching across Biscayne Bay from Bayfront Park to the Miami Beach Convention Center.
Isabelle Collin Dufresne, better known as Warhol superstar Ultra Violet, is bringing a rare, super-powered laser installation to light up the night as part of the UR1 Music & Art Festival's visual arts offerings.
Set up at Bayfront's 100-foot Tower of Light, created by Isamu Noguchi during his 1980 redesign of the park, Ultra Violet's installation will fire up on Wednesday, December 5. Strong polychromatic light will shoot into the sky to a height of five miles, while another beam, a spokesperson said, will reach all the way across the bay to be visible to the VIPs celebrating at Art Basel that same night. The "bridge of light" will shine on throughout Art Basel week until Sunday, December 9.
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With that kind of range, Ultra Violet's installation will no doubt be one of the most visible -- if not the most widely viewed -- piece of art during Basel Week this year. But will it come to represent 2012? There's strong competition, after all -- giant alligators prowling the bay, swimming pools set up in the Miami River, Banksy's works at CONTEXT.
We do know this much: With so many different things to see and do all around Miami that week, it's nice to know that when we burn out from all the fairs and parties, we'll still be able to take it easy and enjoy a piece of art simply by looking into the sky.