The Arts Lobby

Multimedia festival (sub)Urban Projections to transform the Hult Center’s lobby

(sub)Urban Projections
(sub)Urban ProjectionsPhoto by Dmitri Von Klein

The Hult Center stands as the Grand Dame of the Lane County performing arts scene — known more for highbrow ballet, opera and classical music than contemporary or avant-garde work. Brad Garner of the Eugene-based interdisciplinary arts organization Harmonic Laboratory hopes to change that … well, at least in the lobby.

“We’re going to take it over,” Garner says. Garner is faculty in the UO School of Music and Dance. “It won’t even look the same,” he continues. “We’re going to control the lighting. We’re going to have things installed and hung — every nook and cranny that you can think of is going to have something happening.”

The theme of the event is “radiance,” and it is produced by (sub)Urban Projections — a digital arts festival from the city of Eugene and the UO Arts Administration Department. Garner interprets radiance to mean light, or projection. “We are not necessarily binding ourselves to that,” Garner says. “But it’s not hard to connect everything we’re doing to that idea.”

Past festival events have included digital art projected on downtown buildings and Harmonic Laboratory performing on top of the Hult Center’s parking garage. “Our vision for Harmonic Laboratory is creating what’s only possible through collaboration,” Garner says. “We never know what we’re going to end up with.”

As for Harmonic Laboratory’s Hult Center lobby takeover, Garner says: “We’re going to have between 12 or 13 separate events,” blending dance, electronic music and digital art. “Three of them will be more permanent installations. The others will be short vignettes.” He describes one installation as having motors — as you walk by it will move. Another is an interactive sculpture triggering visuals and sounds.

Garner says expect to be startled but not offended, challenged but not alienated. He says Harmonic Laboratory wants to redefine what we all consider art, and in the process build an audience for contemporary dance and multimedia performance in Eugene. The group even dreams one day of being a resident company at the Hult. — William Kennedy

(sub)Urban Projections presents Harmonic Laboratory 8 pm Thursday, Jan. 30, in The Hult Center Lobby; free. (sub)Urban Projections also presents Ballet Fantastique and Jeremy Bronson at Oregon Contemporary Theatre Jan. 29, and a projection reception at Ninkasi Jan. 31.