Architects of Air Debuts the World Premiere of New Inflatable Luminarium 'Dodecalis'

Long lines for "Dodecalis" are a given, but if it's anything like 2017's "Katena," the rewards will be well worth the wait

click to enlarge “Dodecalis” - Photo: Provided by BLINK
Photo: Provided by BLINK

In 2017, Washington Park played host to “Katena,” an inflated, palace-like “luminarium” that glowed in vivid color. As BLINK’s only ticketed event (it cost $5), it also proved to be one of the most popular. Outside, its rounded arches and floral turrets made it resemble a miniature, alien version of Music Hall. Inside, visitors were left to explore, marvel and meditate within its caverns, described by its artists as “something between a womb and a cathedral.” Created by Architects of Air, a British production company founded by artist Alan Parkinson in 1992, “Katena” was one of many touring installations that have been visited by over 3 million people in 40 countries across five continents. 

Architects of Air will return to BLINK, this time for the world premiere of the new luminarium “Dodecalis.” Like its predecessors, Architects of Air writes on its website that “Dodecalis” will be inspired by “natural forms, geometric solids (and) Islamic and Gothic architecture.” 

The luminarium aims to immerse viewers in a calming sensory experience through radiant light, color and sound. There are no bright, flashing lights, but instead a soft, saturated glow and a contemplative soundscape. Unlike flashy, energetic displays outside the walls of “Dodecalis,” the luminarium carries a strange, provocative, otherworldly beauty. Architects of Air’s past luminariums have been compared to everything from stained glass windows to space stations to living, breathing beings. 

The sense of wonder and awe the futuristic works evoke fit right in with the ethos of BLINK, making it the perfect place for the “Dodecalis” world premiere. 

“When you look at what we’ve pulled off here, and will pull off again, it would be a no-brainer for any artist or creative to want to launch something big and bold at BLINK,” says Chamber President Meyer, citing the creativity, care and innovation of the people who call the region home. 

Long lines for "Dodecalis" are a given, but if it's anything like "Katena" the rewards will be well worth the wait. (Admission is $10; $5 for kids under 10 and free for those 2 and under.)

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