Liliane Lijn and John Vallerga, “Sunstar” (image courtesy Mt. Wilson Institute)

The 2018 AxS Festival, organized by Fulcrum Arts (formerly the Pasadena Arts Council, founded in 1964 to provide support for artists), is a 10-day celebration of art and science based around the Pasadena area. This year’s theme is the “City as Wunderkammer,” positing the notion of the city as a “cabinet of curiosities” on a grand scale. Some of the projects include Lawrence English’s “Seirá,” a take0ver of the decommissioned Los Angeles Civil Defense System for a public sound artwork; “Our Garden of Dreams,” a mobile sculpture garden by Dominique Moody; and a benefit concert on November 7, performed by seminal experimental composer William Basinski, whose minimalist works incorporate traditional instruments like piano and clarinet with tape loops and delay systems.

Liliane Lijn and John Vallerga, “Sunstar” apparatus (image courtesy Mt. Wilson Institute)

The festival’s closing event will be a viewing of “Sunstar,” a collaboration between artist Liliane Lijn and UC Berkeley astrophysicist John Vallerga. Mounted atop Mount Wilson’s historic 150-foot Solar Tower, a series of prisms are activated by computer code to focus colored beams of sunlight on specific locations. Since November 2, the beam has been projected on various sites corresponding with festival events. On Sunday afternoon, it will be visible from Pasadena Memorial Park, as it cycles through a programmed sequence of colors, dubbed “Sun Songs” by Lijn. In conjunction with the viewing, from 1 to 2:30pm Los Angeles experimental chamber ensemble wasteLAnd will stage a free concert in conversation with the solar artwork, featuring pieces by Elizabeth Lutyens, Toru Takemitsu, Pauline Oliveros, and others.

When: Sunday, November 11, 12–4pm
Where: Pasadena Memorial Park (85 E Holly St, Pasadena, California)

More info at AxS Festival.

Matt Stromberg is a freelance visual arts writer based in Los Angeles. In addition to Hyperallergic, he has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, CARLA, Apollo, ARTNews, and other publications.