If you attended Light City this past spring, you may remember a cascade of multi-dimensional, multicolored images falling over the Inner Harbor waters—and as you passed by, your presence made the shapes and colors change. Sound familiar? You were witnessing “Water Wall,” a piece by Baltimore-based artists Greg St. Pierre and Andrew Bernstein.
Now, St. Pierre and Bernstein will share a stunning new multimedia installation at the Brandenburg Gate for the Berlin Light Weeks Festival. Selected by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts (BOPA) and the organizers of the Berlin festival, the two will present a piece titled Microcosmus (which comes from the middle English spelling of the word Microcosm.)
The theme of the festival is immigration, an homage to the thousands of immigrants Germany has accepted.
“We took that as a jumping off point to design an abstract generative animation that models the meeting of different people/cultures,” said the artists. “Different shapes bubble up the columns of the gate and, upon meeting at the arch, are transformed in subtle and more dramatic ways. Our piece aims to abstractly model the process of cultural synthesis…The piece starts lonely and stark and ends colorfully and powerfully, creating a narrative of transformation, growth and metamorphosis.”
This is not the artists’ first collaboration. Though neither is from the area (St. Pierre’s a Rhode Islander, Bernstein a Connecticut native), the two met at Goucher College. They eventually started a band together, and when that dissolved, began creating the sort of stunning displays seen in Baltimore and Berlin. Each has his own career— St. Pierre has been working on multimedia stage for bands such as Animal Collective and Phantogram, and Bernstein is a faculty member at Goucher and performer in the experimental band Horse Lords—but they plan to continue working together on their displays. They will be showing together at the Water Wall on the Thames River in London in January at the Winter Lights festival, and are also awaiting the results of the ongoing selection process for the next Light City Baltimore.