Light Brigade

Anchorage Park Foundation

Funding Received: 2013
Anchorage, AK
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
September 7, 2013


The Light Brigade crew built a strong rigging grid on two levels of the museum roof and installed 180 linear feet of dance floor decking on two levels as well and started rehearsals immediately thereafter. We now rehearse in/on two different museums, the old ship creek power plant with its archive of steam punk style pre post-industrial technology and the recently renovated space-age-skinned Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center and its collection of history and art of the region. If you look closely you can see the museums’ architectural similarities set off by the radically contrasting esthetics of their age difference.

Meanwhile, invitations to join a creative placemaking consortium went out this week to nine local arts leaders. The consortium will implement a pilot project designed by the Light Brigade intended to create an upsurge of site-specific work in public parks during 2014 and 2015. Up to 50 or so artists will be invited to submit a proposal to use art to activate public spaces.

First Aerialist Rehearsal on the Anchorage Museum. First Aerialist Rehearsal on the Anchorage Museum.[/caption]

Recent Wins

I wrote in the last Light Brigade blog post about the relationship between individual artists or art groups and the institutions that surround and often support them. The partnership that we are trying to build with the Anchorage Park Foundation and our recent close daily interactions with the Anchorage Museum are providing us with a laboratory in which to study the intermixing of cultures. Every day the urgent demands of an outside group of artists preparing for a complex and unorthodox performance challenges the boundaries of institutional flexibility of the Anchorage Museum and its staff. The big win so far is that they are more than rising to the challenge, more than tolerating us, they seem to welcome and embrace both the challenge and our presence on their turf. We, for our part, are both grateful and emboldened by this unexpected level of validation. Thanks Julie and thanks to your entire staff.

A museum under Light Brigade occupation. A museum under Light Brigade occupation.[/caption]


The Light Brigade’s art practice centers on themes of Northern life. We’re interested not so much in forming or discovering a regional esthetic common to artists in the Northern latitudes but in exploring the nature of the most potent influence on our life rhythms and artistic outlook, namely, light. Here on the upper degrees the world is a flood plane drenched in near-constant light part of the year followed by submersion in the rising tide of a deep winter darkness. Light, it’s abundance and absence governs so much of what it looks and feels like to be an artist on the planet’s northern tip.

Light equals time. It regulates the sap in the boreal birches and the velvet on the moose antlers. Its rate of travel gauges distance on a cosmological scale. When we study light we quickly arrive in the realm of time. When this happened early on in our explorations we were drawn to the work of Alan Lightman snippets of whose novel Einstein’s Dreams inspired our work and form the textual roots of Over Beyond Across Through.