10 Reasons Why You Can’t Miss the LUMA Projection Arts Festival

Posted by Laurie Dupnock on August 22, 2019

This year marks the five-year anniversary of LUMA: the highly anticipated and ever-evolving projection arts festival born right here in Binghamton. I’ve attended LUMA multiple times, and it’s become an event I look forward to every fall. I love how LUMA brings our community together and allows us to see the downtown area in a new light -- no pun intended. Check out some of the top reasons why you cannot miss all the magic this year!

You don’t need a pocketful of cash

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Great news, fellow students! LUMA, held Sept. 6-7, is a mostly FREE event! Most of the major attractions are free to view, so you don’t need to spend any precious cash to attend the festival. However, two larger features, “The Challenge” and “Phasing Rain,'' promise to be extra spectacular, so you’ll need to purchase tickets to view these showings.

You can play video games on buildings

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Video games have come a long way, but there’s nothing like the classics. Three Binghamton University students teamed up to recreate some of your favorite old school games, but with a twist: they’re custom versions mapped to buildings downtown that you can play live!

“The Challenge” is pioneering a new era of projection mapping

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Freckled Sky is a multimedia company you may know of from America’s Got Talent. This year, they're bringing “The Challenge, a deeply enthralling production of groundbreaking storytelling technology paired with live performers, to Floyd L. Maines Veteran’s Memorial Arena. Remember to purchase tickets beforehand!

“Phasing Rain” will immerse you in an apocalyptic storm

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OnionLab, based in Barcelona, Spain, is teaming up with artist Xavi Bove to pay homage to Noah’s Ark and the infamous flood in “Phasing Rain.” This production will transform a level of the parking garage on 142 State St. and take you through the tides of an apocalyptic flood instigated by global warming. Get ready to fully immerse yourself in the experience with the help of spectacular lighting and 26 unique audio channels to build the atmosphere. Get your tickets now!

Some of LUMA’s fan favorite artists are returning

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This year, some of LUMA’s fan favorites -- Maxin10sity, Light Harvest and Favorite Color -- are returning with all new projections. I personally loved Maxin10sity’s fairy-tale-inspired projection from a few years ago, and I cannot wait to see what all these artists have dreamed up for this year. From discovering what’s hidden in Pandora’s Box to embarking on intergalactic travel, you can expect to see some seriously cool features.

You'll enjoy all the festival fare your heart desires

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You'll find plenty of delicious treats at LUMA, along with a multitude of other vendors. There will also be a really cool feature called “Site Unseen: A Lights Out Dining Experience,” where you can buy tickets to literally dine in the dark at participating local restaurants. 

“DATANOVA” and “Sviatovid” will mesmerize you

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For those of you who don't know, “Sviatovid” is the name of a 9th-century Slavic deity who could observe the world from all four cardinal directions. At LUMA, it’ll be a fifteen-foot-tall, multi-faceted totem created by Bart Kresa Studios and inspired by this very deity. But that won’t be the only mesmerizing attraction at LUMA. Ouchhh, based in Istanbul, Turkey, is partnering with GrandSon Creative to bring “DATANOVA” -- a projection taking data from actual New York State star charts and turning it into fine art. As someone who is fascinated by stars, I’m most excited to see what this show will deliver!

You can check out local artists’ work

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LUMA prides itself on showcasing work from talented visual artists from all over the world. However, Binghamton has some pretty spectacular artistic talent as well. This year, you can check out the work of local artists on the CVS building on 34 Court St. with “Mural Mappings” -- a virtual mural allowing first-timers to showcase their art in the festival.

“LUMA Talks 2019” promise to enlighten and entertain

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LUMA is rooted in the interweaving of art, technology, storytelling and imaginative thinking. The evening of Sept. 7, LUMA is bringing audiences free and casual interdisciplinary talks at multiple locations downtown to enlighten curious minds about the different aspects that go into making the festival possible.

LUMA is paving the way for Binghamton's future

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LUMA is the largest projection mapping festival in the country. People from all over the state, country and even the world know about LUMA and some travel great distances to attend this unforgettable event. Binghamton’s history is noteworthy as the birthplace for tech companies such as IBM and Link Aviation, however, LUMA is bringing art and culture to Binghamton’s future. You won’t want to miss this captivating two-day festival that celebrates the bridging of Binghamton’s past with Binghamton’s future.  

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Check out the festival map of downtown beforehand so you know exactly where to go to see each attraction! 

Laurie Dupnock is a student assistant in the Office of Media and Public Relations and a graduate student in the MA English and Creative Writing Program at Binghamton University. She loves writing, health and wellness, the outdoors and coffee.   

Have questions, comments or concerns about the blog? Email us at social@binghamton.edu