The Museum of Art & History at the McPherson Center

Today is Wednesday, August 15: Open 10am-8pm
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GLOW: Digital Night



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*This is a two day festival. GLOW: A Festival of Fire is Saturday October 17th.*

Purchase Advanced Tickets HERE.

The museum will be electrified with glowing dances, laser magic tricks, projections, LED sculptures, and interactive digital art.


Astro Botanicals with Stanton Clark are inflatable space plants shaped like classical ornamental flowers with a blooming kaleidoscope of color-changing LED lights. Sit underneath The Magnolia Starship or gaze at The Dragon Lotus‘ beautiful geometry and architecture.

Tetris Tournaments VII with Bryan Von Reuter invites you to sign up karaoke-style to test your skill at the world’s most addictive NES puzzle game! Compete in a retro arcade of projections with one mission in mind: stacking blocks to make lines. The highest scoring player and the player with the most lines will be rewarded with a Tetris Trophy at 10PM on the main stage.

Virtual Sandbox with Idea Fab Labs is an augmented reality sandbox which builds a topographic map from sand you control. Shannon Stillman, William Gilbert, Tané Tachyon, Karsten Wade, Austin Neff, David Van Brink, and Patrick Lewis built this interactive sandbox from open source designs and technology.

Metareal Feedback with David Van Brink projects organic, algorithm patterns inspired by classic analog video feedback. Visitors can play with the controls, and learn their way around the somewhat psychedelic parameter space. Dome with Deeje Cooley is an interactive music and light dancing show where *you* control the visuals and dance on the walls!  There are several kiosks inside and outside the dome, each wirelessly connected to a central system that plays music and projects visuals onto the dome.  Swipe and swirl your fingers to create dynamic and kinetic realtime visuals, which get composited with the other dancers at the dome as well as with pre-recorded dancers.

The Egg with Joel Dream is a living sculpture and kinetic environment.  This spinning 10′ sphere made of tree light branches supports a performer in its center. The sphere is lit by precisely timed flashes of light that animate impossible illusions from its form.  The illusions are controlled by a radio controlled glove and by the sounds around it.

The UniLooper with Tim Thompson is an interactive installation that lets you play and loop up to four tracks of music and visuals, generated by tapping on a grid controller.  This four-track MIDI looper has notes that trigger individual visualizations.

Glow Portraits with Michael James Parisi creates instant, hand-drawn glowing portraits using lasers on a phosphor-embedded canvas.

we were here before we were here with Elia Vargas  is a signal-work exploring water as latent information and the ecology of different bodies through projections on dry ice.  Light and water each carry the instructions for growth: sediment, nutrients, and elemental material.  This signal flow of information describes the phenomenology of a body’s experience.  Techno-futures aside, networked digital space and the interaction of analog and electronic processes shape our identities in tandem as ecological feedback loops and organic catalysts of change.

Ghosts of the Ohlone with Geoffrey Nelson are a male and female statues of the Ohlone tribe created for the Ebb and Flow Festival held on the banks of the San Lorenzo River in Santa Cruz. Unfortunately only hours after placing the male statue, he was destroyed by vandals. After launching a successful Gofundme campaign to help with the expenses of rebuilding the statue, Nelson will be debuting both statues at the Glow Festival. Made out of heat formed lucite and held together with over 700 stainless steel screws these statues which he calls his Frankenpunk style glow with internal color changing LEDs and external electroluminescent wire.

Audio Reactive Projection Mapping with Drew Detweiler will cover the back patio walls in vibrant imagery.

Field Trip Projects with Tra Bouscaron is a mobile projection and ephemeral installation art platform.  He mixes personal, pirated, and real-time live video captured on site, Group Show in My Head 6 will generate mash-ups and map them onto the architecture of the Cooper House in Abbott Square.

Secular Geometry: Icosahedron with Jordan Layman is a large scale 20-sided polyhedron lit from within. It was designed and built at Idea Fab Labs.

The Science of Luminescence with the UCSC Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry invites you to explore the chemistry of why things glow.

Plankton: Our Invisible Foundation with Michele Guieu is a blacklight participatory installation where you are invited to add elements to a reflective mural representing an ensemble of enlarged plankton organisms. This installation highlights these tiny important creatures who contribute to 50% of the world’s oxygen and are in severe threat due to climate change. Michele is an artist and educator who engages the public in the art making experience, the importance of our environment and the role we play in it.

The Blacklight Activity Room will offer eye-candy glowing crafts including Glowing Face Painting with Madaline Tomlinson, Bike-adelic Spin Art with Bikes Santa Cruz County, Neon Crowns, Glowing Mandalas, a collaborative paper pyramid installation and other multi-sensory black light art.

GLOW with Mike Horton is a large neon piece created specifically for this festival from Hot Mike Neon.

Radiance Sculptures: Queen of the Night, Red Bird of Love, Light Dance, and Metaleaque with fashion designer and light artist, Catarina Hosler and Modern Collective Dance Company. Stainless steel mesh and illuminated fashions come to life in dancers situated as moving statues throughout the museum. They invite you to interact and move with them throughout the evening.

DreamTime with Michael EmeryDenise Gallant, and Andrew Davis is the first prototype for a potential future large scale BurningMan installation. The prototype includes a 20″ ceramic head, a dreamscape video montage projected onto the head and a sound montage.

Cameleon, Kenny the Dragon, Peace on Earth Jacket, Holy Jacket and Devil with a Black Shirt On with Rebecca Braslau and Chris Gordon. These costumes and creatures are hand-made with EL (ElectroLuminescent) wire and LED lighting, find them wandering throughout the event.

EL Wire Cowboy,  Mardi Gras, Koitney & Koi Thang, Dragon Fire, Cougar, Hummingbird, Rainbow Unicorn, and Metropolis with Mike Grall. Mike’s wearable art designs, lit up with neon EL wire, are inspired by Burning Man and serve a secondary function of keeping the wearer safe and lit up at night on Playa.

Kinetic Gloves with Futuristic Lights will demonstrate their kinetic glove set.


7:15- 7:30 JOSM is an eclectic mix of aerial and land acrobatics, contortion and hand balancing performed by Aerial Arts Santa Cruz‘s youth group of 12 year olds. Enjoy a glowing performance of contortion directed by Sarah Lovell.

8-8:45PM Magic with Digits and Digital Magic with magicians Joshua Logan & Doug “The Surfing Magician” Hofkins will be presenting hi-tech digital magic on stage! They will be featuring new magic from their online shop Joshua & Doug will be opening an actual retail magic shop at the Boardwalk in Spring 2016! This performance will also feature multimedia magician, Jonah Price and Frederick Lee a mentalist and magician.

8:45-9PM Light Up the Night with Eclipse is a culmination of local talented performers, directors and choreographers. They infuse circus arts, tumbling, acrobatics, aerial art, hoops and poi into an illuminated performance. This group includes Aerial Arts Santa Cruz, Hooping Healers and the Modern Collective Dance Company.

Kicking off GLOW at 7PM, 7:30-8PM and 9-10PM Dance to the beats of Bennett Williamson, a long time radio+party DJ who enjoys making you dance and wonder, with a freeform mix of new releases, niche classics, left-field oddities, and underappreciated anthems. Keywords include boogie, synthesizers, cumbia, house, disco, bass, r&b, dub, drums, breaks, funkiness.

This event is CASH ONLY the night of. Please do not bring strollers.

Advance tickets are available below for both nights. Members get in half price– join today to get your discount.

This event is CASH ONLY the night of. Please DO NOT bring strollers or pets.

Advance tickets are available below for both nights. Members get in half price– join today to get your discount.