Hocus focus: Aurora art experience to transform the Wyly Theatre


The immersive public art experience Aurora is back, with a big new trick: The arts group 3_Search will invert, compact and undo the Wyly Theatre, right before your eyes

by CHRISTOPHER WYNN rendering and portrait by 3_SEARCH

Dallas, after dark. That is Aurora, the public art experience-cum-street party for art lovers and intellectuals. On Friday, October 18, almost 90 site-specific light, sound, performance and projection art installations will happen across 19 city blocks of the Arts District downtown including, this year, Klyde Warren Park. One night only — utterly immersive, totally free.

The 3-year-old annual extravaganza is guided by its co-founders, artists Shane Pennington and Joshua King, and Catherine Cuellar, the executive director of the Dallas Arts District. The question facing them this year? How does the increasingly popular event, which already pulsates with spectacle, top itself. Their answer: Digitally shape-shift the Wyly Theatre before everyone’s eyes.

The smoke and mirrors — or in this case, lenses and computers — come courtesy of the New York arts collective, 3_Search. The group has fashioned a video art piece entitled Blueprints and Perspectives that will use the Wyly as a canvas to seemingly morph the 12-story cube building into a storyboard of abstract scenes. They dub the process artistic architecture. (YouTube is witness to the amazing installations they have already created. Especially seek out their past collaborations with Dom Pérignon. You will be stunned.)

The group is comprised of three members based in New York: Leo Kuelbs, John Ensor Parker and Farkas Fülöp. Kuelbs is the front man. He comes up with the artistic concepts and manages the elaborate projects through to the end. He has been coming to Dallas to visit family for years. “I have a very strong connection to the Metroplex,” he says. Parker is a new-media artist who specializes in large-scale works. He once created a piece that spanned a full city block in Orlando. Fülöp is one-half of a video mapping and animation team called Glowing Bulbs, based in New York and Budapest.

Leo Kuelbs, Farkas Fülöp and John Ensor Parker of 3_Search

The project with the Wyly is the trio’s most ambitious yet. Fülöp says they are using a technique they have never seen employed in architectural mapping: using different points of view on the same surface. He won’t elaborate more, but hints at what viewers will see: “We will turn that building inside out, open it up, close it down, make it shine, reflect and disappear.” Kuelbs hopes “that the viewers will feel a part of the piece, that it will touch them and remind them of their own individuality, as well as their place in a greater community.” Aurora “Light of Convergence” is Friday, October 18 from 7 p.m. to midnight. Information, a full roster of artists and a map at dallasaurora.com


Clarification: September 30, 2013

Aurora Dallas was co-founded in 2010 by Shane Pennington, Joshua King and Dallas Arts District founding executive director Veletta Forsythe Lill.



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