a person standing in an indoor garden with blue lights illuminated in the background

Envisioning Nightscape

By Ricardo Rivera , on


a person standing in an indoor garden with blue lights illuminated in the background

Nightscape installation, Silver Garden. Photo by Kevin Ritchie of Klip Collective.

There is a scene in Akira Kurosawa's Dreams that has tugged at me for years, where a little boy escapes into the woods and sees a parade of foxes. He chances upon it and is not supposed to see it. It is a magical moment of uncertainty and amazement. I wanted to create that kind of feeling with Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience by Klip Collective.

For Klip Collective, the future of art is creating experience as art. We want to create a body of work where the audience has to move through it physically. Years ago, Klip Collective created a one-hundred-foot wide veil of smoke in a meadow where we projected fireflies that danced in frantic flight. It was designed to be viewed from a distance and seen in a larger context. To our surprise, people walked right into it. The audience wanted to be surrounded and lost in the chaos of the moment. Seeing how people were drawn to the lights and how they reacted to the experience inspired me to explore the idea of experience as art … and that began the process for Nightscape.

Nightscape is an experience that is very much in relationship with the space. What's already here at Longwood Gardens, and the natural forms that we are using as the canvas, inform and inspire everything that we're doing. I really believe that what we are projecting on is just as important as what is being projected. With Longwood, this beautiful, manicured space is brought to life in a whole different way. It's very much a feedback loop between the projections and the object.

We are interpreting the space through movement, color, light, and sound. As a site-specific work, it was built through testing, trial-and-error, and capturing the beautiful “accidents.” The process became visceral, following our gut reactions and building on the moments that felt right.

The sound of Nightscape comes about in two different ways: in some places, we're sampling and manipulating sounds from the Garden. In others, there are set pieces of music put together by our composers. In either case, I actually have a hand in making that music, working directly with the composers. And the music, in turn, inspires what the visuals will be.

Whether it is the dynamic visuals or the music, the innovative technology or the living canvas that intrigues you to see Nightscape, it is a chance to escape into your imagination and see something unexpected … to walk through a dream and experience the Garden as it transforms before you.


a close up of grasses with blue and green blurred lights in the background

Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience by Klip Collective is on view through October 31, 2015.

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