Glowing umbrellas and art without authorship

The modern performance company Pilobolus and MIT’s Distributed Robotics Laboratory teamed up at PopTech 2012 along with several hundred volunteers for a collaborative art excercise. Guided by a camera fixed on a towering crane, the volunteers moved around holding umbrellas fixed with LED lights to spontaneously create dramatic colorful formations in a darkened outdoor amphitheater. 

UP: The Umbrella Project, created by Pilobolus in collaboration with the MIT Distributed Robotics Laboratory, premiered on Friday, October 12th at PopTech in the Camden Harbor Amphitheater in Camden, Maine. Functioning as individuals in a group - or pixels on a screen - participants wielding umbrellas fabricated with multi-colored LED lights, created a performance piece together that was projected in real time on a large screen.

Starring the PopTech conference attendees and the Camden community, this Pilobolus piece, like all of the modern performance company’s work over the last 42 years, was borne out of its proven method of collective creativity.

Last night’s Pilobolus outdoor Umbrella Project from above by Christopher LaCasse.

Oooh! Here’s a peek of the umbrellas fabricated with multi-colored LED lights created by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory for the Pilobolus Outdoor Umbrella Project.

(Image via Whitney Chris