A note from RJ: This is a guest post by Damon Landry, probably Philadelphia’s foremost street art photographer right now. Damon is writing about Open Air Philly, who a sponsor of Vandalog this month, which is why I figured it would be better to have Damon write about the event than me. The color photos were shot with a Nikon D7000 and a 17-55 f2.8 ED DX lens. For the black and white photos, Damon used an Olympus EPL2 Pen camera using a 20mm Panasonic pancake lens.
At first I was not “sold” on the concept of this project by aPA and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, as I am used to seeing these types of Xenon lights used mainly to draw attention to used car lots and nightclubs and so had that association in mind. However seeing the project being tested from out my home’s 3rd floor windows my curiosity was tapped, especially on humid nights as the air carried the beams in a very defined manner on those nights. I went down the night before the opening and was literally laughing as it was fairly amazing to be under what appeared to be a crystal castle of sorts… “I got it” at that moment! Opening night was great however the crush of people on the parkway took away from what I thought needed to be a more intimate experience insomuch as you can have in the environment of the parkway. Nonetheless I was again amazed and like a lot of people were doing I just laid down on my back in the middle of the parkway and stared at the sky and was taken away by the show. For public art, this was pretty interesting stuff and for all the news about the very few “dark sky advocates” who were going to be there in protest I did not see any nor did anyone I know pay them any mind. I brought along a variety of camera gear to get images but in the end I just wanted to watch and not bother with setting all that up. This was good stuff… go see it if you have the chance!
Photos by Damon Landry