Light BrigadeAnchorage, AK
On July 19th a crowd of in-the-know followers of the Light Brigade assembled in an industrial quadrant of the city known as Ship Creek to participate in Transposition, our latest urban art intervention. Our project’s sound and music composer, Ethan Woods, led them from the gathering space (pied piper style) across the creek on a bridge and inside the cavernous volume of an abandoned former coal-fired power plant to stand in the dark and behold as we tested our team’s capacities. We made this series of “gestures” leading up to our Fall finale in order to surface our weaknesses—to force any gaps in our skills and equipment to reveal themselves so we can take corrective action. Gaps emerged. Corrective Actions discussed among the team at the postmortem afterwards. Gesture successful. (See Photo)
The Municipality of Anchorage finally waved our proposal to stage a large scale creative placemaking event on the Anchorage Museum out of its risk management department thus green-lighting the September 21st performance of Over, Beyond, Across, Through, the Light Brigade’s final site specific piece for 2013. Meanwhile, our wonderful partner, the Anchorage Park Foundation signed a memorandum of agreement with the Anchorage Museum Association, removing the final barrier to begin building and rehearsing on the museum. The Light Brigade, being light on its feet, wasted no time assembling a crew and got right to it. Here we go! (See photo)
It’s an interesting time to be an artist in Alaska’s largest city. Anchorage recently began celebrating 100 years as a city. The mayor’s office has staffed up to make a long series of events to commemorate this milestone. Economists and local political and business leaders have finally begun to think seriously about what our post-resource-extraction future might look like and how to start shaping it now. Artists and arts institutions like the Anchorage Museum are pushing for a deeper exploration of what it means and what it’s like to be a northern dweller as the climate changes, the sea ice melts and the Arctic Ocean opens for business attracting the attention of corporate, political and military leaders the world over. Suddenly a faraway and little-understood outpost ponders its growing global significance. I think it’s not a coincidence that in the midst of all of this churning change a disparate group of Anchorage artists from different generations and artistic backgrounds came together to give birth to the Light Brigade.