Tristan Eaton Leads Line-Up as 3rd Wave of Artists Announced for Blink Cincinnati
BLINK, illuminated by ArtsWave does not shy away from a big undertaking. In fact, with the whole city of Cincinnati as their canvas, they are undeniably well-versed in large-scale undertakings. With a go big mentality, it is with great pleasure that they announce iconic multidisciplinary artist Tristan Eaton’s participation in the experience, not just for the multi-day event, but with a lasting mural that will depict some of the city’s richest history. Eaton is a veritable superstar in the world of public art, taking his signature collaging and layering style to new heights–literally–weaving even minute details into the image to create a comprehensive tableau. His contribution to the cityscape on the side of the 84.51 headquarters will be the largest mural in Ohio, standing at an estimated 17,000 sq ft, marking Cincinnati’s deep-rooted commitment to public art and preserving history. Having completed murals around the globe, Eaton is known for thoughtful research and breathtaking lasting works like his recent mural in Deep Ellum which layered both well-known and obscure details within a beautiful portrait. BLINK is thrilled he is bringing his thoughtful work to the biggest wall of the bunch, serving as an anchor for Cincinnati for years to come, and solidifying signaling to future generations the importance of representation and research. With this mural, Cincinnati publicly acknowledges its own history, immortalizing the path they’ve taken to become the city they are today.
This year’s BLINK is all about big experiences, something that comes from breathtaking elements. With some of the most impressive projection mapping to date, the team is ensuring each interaction is memorable not just because of its physical size, but because of the layered and complex elements that leave a big lasting impression. Insane51’s mural with projection mapping by goDutch is a prime example of this. The collaboration with the Cincinnati-based branding firm will be the first time that the Greek muralist's work will be animated. Insane 51's unique 3-D painting technique will make its regional debut as one of BLINK's main site attractions. Another incredible example of visual art and projection, BLINK’s dedicated partner ArtsWave presents the first instance of purely visual art in their exciting Flow Series, which thus far has consisted of quarterly performances by renowned Black artists and ensembles from around the country whose work is unique and exciting. The series, which is designed to attract a highly diverse, culturally adventurous audience and create a shared and elevated appreciation for artists of color, gets its next installment with a brand new mural by Max Sansing and projection component by Cincinnati-based artist Chaske Haverkos. Local artist Jenny Ustick is creating a mural honoring the 33-year Sister City Partnership between Cincinnati and Kharkiv, Ukraine. Sean P. Hafer will create a projection mapped animation for this mural during the four nights of the festival. Both DAAP professors, Ustick and Hafer are engaging students from the Schools of Art and Design to implement the project on a site in OTR. Cincinnati Kharkiv Sister City Partnership and Cincy4Ukraine are active collaborators on this important and timely work. They have actively raised funds for our Ukrainian friends and will continue to do so, hoping this mural will stimulate ongoing interest and support.
BLINK also returns to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, a museum in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio that pays tribute to all efforts to "abolish human enslavement and secure freedom for all people, will illuminate as a beacon of hope along the Ohio Riverfront.
As an ode to the anticipated debut of Hamilton County’s new visitor destination the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame at the Andrew J. Brady ICON Music Center and its honorees, BLINK will transform the area into a “Golden Garden” gold-drenched lighting designs, light-based installations that twinkle and glitter and music and activations that celebrate Cincinnati as a city where stars are made. The area will be a destination for taking a pause together with lawn seating, a Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame-inspired soundtrack and interactive installations.
INTERACTIVE LIGHT-BASED INSTALLATIONS INVITE VISITORS TO PLAY TOGETHER
Continuing to prove their dedication to a holistic, interactive, and memorable experience, BLINK is also announcing a number of impressive light-based installations, taking the visual stimulus to a new level. Empower’s “See Yourself in Light” allows visitors to create a one-of-a-kind piece of light art projected using data from their digital photograph, which is translated into a fractal design, with repeating patterns of stylized elements, absolutely unique to each participant. Lightborne HQ is taking “THE INSIDE OUT” to heart with a projection on the outside of their building and an interactive experience on the inside.
The interactive elements continue as Immerge Interactive brings “Fences,” an interactive light installation where patterns are generated by foot traffic along a 7ft tall, 72 ft long, custom LED display. With generative patterns that track a viewer’s position and movement layered over each other, each visitor leaves their mark on the space and the installation changes throughout the night. Local Cincinnati artistic collective Kemper Sauce Studios brings a gamified experience. Gylee Games brings the fun as well, with their special brand of games that can be enjoyed in small chunks, giving you insight to a larger world.
“Arcade of Light” brings people together by imparting a sense of interactive wonder at otherworldly light shows displayed on mystical obelisks. Intuitive game controls invite the audience to direct the show through unique gameplay, giving guests a chance to quite literally play within the visual medium. The Rosebud Rotunda, presented by a group of Cincinnati-based startups including Nimble Prototyping, Radius Concepts, and Digital Castaway, is an interactive LED installation using programmable LEDs and real time visualizers to create a beautiful and engaging experience. Inspired by the pattern of rose petals this exhibit creates visual interest from 360 degrees that reacts as patrons walk around the space. With “Visible Spectrum” from designers Sean Cottengim and Ted Madden, slices of color-tinted vinyl hang from a structural truss and sway in the breeze of passers-by, each lit from above to project shadows of colored light down upon the audience.
BLINK transcends boundaries, both physical and virtual. Breonna’s Garden, a revolutionary framework for veneration through augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), developed by Lady Pheønix in solidarity with the family of Breonna Taylor, will be present in both AR and VR form, facilitated in partnership with Cincy Nice. What began as a single powerful concept has blossomed like the garden itself, offering opportunities for honoring and healing entire communities using exponentially-merging technology.
Another empowering exhibit not limited by the traditional confines of space and coinciding with the 2022 FotoFocus Biennial: World Record, BLINK will include several photographic and lens-based light projects presented by FotoFocus. These outdoor site-specific projects address the theme of FotoFocus and the experience of BLINK through projection mapping, murals, and light-based installations. Now in its sixth iteration, the 2022 FotoFocus Biennial encompasses 90 Participating Venues across Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, Dayton, and Columbus, and features more than 600 artists, curators, and participants—the largest of its kind in America.
The all-encompassing experience also expands beyond visual art with Yalie Kamara, Cincinnati’s Poet Laureate working on a living poem to premiere this year. BLINK is proud to highlight the work of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the special performance of Can “Sun Dogs” they have planned for BLINK weekend. Typically a composer responds to a director’s ideas in a film scoring capacity, or a filmmaker is given music to respond to visually, but Sun Dogs explores how stories can be told with music and film from equal footing.