26.10.17 — Journal

Luna de Octubre

With my week as busy as ever, I totally missed my self-imposed deadline of Wednesday to get this blog post out, but never mind for here we go. As I mentioned in my last post looking back at last week, on Saturday night I headed out with a couple of friends to explore the festivities named Luna de Octubre. This event brought together a set of nocturnal installations, all of which used light in some form to great effect – as you can imagine I was on cloud nine with the array of lights which had been installed around the city!

The first installation we stumbled upon was one of the infamous fountains of Madrid, which had been turned off, lit up and filled with empty plastic bottles. It did make quite the statement, and I was happy to hear a nearby parent explaining to their child that it was a warning, and that reducing and recycling is important. There might just be hope for the future after all!

Plenty of bottles

We continued to walk down the huge avenue of  the Paseo del Prado, which had been completely shut off to cars, an event almost unheard of as it’s one of the biggest roads in the city. Further down we came across a really cool installation projected onto the main facade of the Museo del Prado, the biggest of Madrid’s three huge art museums.

Not only was it a great work of video mapping, they had also made it 3D, and so we donned our glasses and gawked at the spectacle. Naturally I can’t show you guys the 3D effects, but the fuzzy shot I managed to take on my phone should give you a little bit of a feel to what it was like…

The facade of the Prado begins to warp

After handing our 3D glasses to another group of spectators, we then headed further down the road and stumbled upon another really cool dynamic light installation. This consisted of a grid of light up stick men figures in various poses, which flashed in sequence to a musical backdrop in order to recreate a bunch of movie and dance routines.

The light up stick men

The illusion worked really well, and I partially enjoyed that we were allowed to walk through the figures. Being able to immerse myself in the installation like this was something I’ve never been able to do so much before, as usually in England artworks are sealed off, but here we spent a good amount of time jiving along amongst the stick men – I even took a selfie to prove it…

Is this here because it's essential to the blog post or just because I look cute?

Further on past the Prado we wandered by a few huge pyramids of colour changing light, before heading down to the end of the Paseo del Prado and then up towards the famous archway of Puerta de Alcalá. Here they had installed three huge custom built screens into each of the archways, showing all kinds of cool slightly psychedelic videos.

Big wobbly pyramids
Screens in the Puerta de Alcalá

From there we wound up stumbling on the final installation which was definitely my favourite, purely because of how silly and extra it was. It consisted of a huge industrial cement mixer which had been covered in mirrors, creating in effect a huge mirror ball. It was suitably accompanied by a medley of dance music, and for a few minutes we joined in the impromptu rave in the middle of the street. I loved it.

The cement disco
Party time

I don’t know what else to tell you about this last one – just that something like this could only happen in Madrid! Let’s see what the coming weekend brings, but for now I have just finished watching the Bake Off and should get some sleep in before an early start tomorrow – a busy Friday looms!