Most Miamians are familiar with the Intercontinental Hotel's LED wall, thanks to the infamous "dancing lady." But next month, the display will showcase something even more impressive than those sexy moves: a music and light installation inspired by Isaac Newton’s famous idea that every primary color works with a musical note.
Starting Tuesday to Sunday, November 15, the hotel's 19-story LED wall will become a digital canvas featuring bright colors and shapes, all with accompanying sounds that can be listened to via the hotel's website or on your smartphone. Dubbed NEWT Miami: Experiments in Light, Color & Sound, organizers are calling it "a temporary musical planetarium."
Through this project (which raised $10,000 on Kickstarter), NEWT co-creators Dejha Carrington and Kelly Nunes wanted to initiate a dialogue about how the arts can help Miami grow — all while utilizing existing architecture and other assets to create new ideas and endeavors.
"A few years ago, the InterContinental Miami invested in a digital facade — 364 square feet of small TV screens under 19 stories of windows — and has since been screening their own content with periodic 'interventions' by different cultural groups," Carrington says. "We saw their technology as a challenge. In exploring how this building can have an impact on its surrounding community, we began to think of the installation as a catalyst or jump-off point for mobilizing locals and visitors."
"Nunes and I were inspired by how artists such James Turrell and Carlos Cruz Diez use light and space, and the sound pieces of Ryoji Ikeda, John Whitney, and Norman McLarren," Carrington goes on to say. "One of the more poetic videos we've seen — and the video we presented in our pitch meeting with the InterContinental Miami host venue — was Sesame Street's '30 Dots Collection' from their 1960s Numbers Series. Watching old clips on YouTube, you get the sense that each dot has a distinct personality. We wanted to do something similar, but on a much larger canvas like the side of a building."
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The installation brings with it a whole calendar of events, including Caffeinated Conversations, a wake-up call about experiential storytelling on Tuesday, November 10; yoga in the park, NEWT edition on Wednesday, November 11; and lots more. All are free, though some require RSVP.
"All of these events are free and open to the public, and we've also published a program with editorial by O, Miami, in a special preview of their Eight Miami Poets book launch," adds Carrington. "At every juncture, we've made a concentrated effort to involve the local arts and cultural community, and are hoping others will be inspired to rethink physical spaces and actively seek collaborative opportunities."
For the complete schedule of events, visit projectnewt.com, or Instagram @projectnewt.