Lighten Up with Snowmass Luminescence

You don’t need directions to find the Snowmass Luminescence installation on Fanny Hill—it’s bright, kaleidoscopic lights pierce the cold night sky and lure anyone nearby to take a peek or an immersive walk through.

Snowmass Luminescence 2022

by Christine Benedetti
The free experience consists of a series of glowing art installations that connect Snowmass Base Village and the Snowmass Mall in a dazzling experience designed to delight both children and adults. Think glow-in-the-dark rainbow meets a winter wonderland in a welcoming mountain setting.
Luminescence can be experienced by moving uphill or downhill. Starting with United Kingdom-based art conglomerate SquidSoup’s installation at the top of Fanny Hill, followed by the six Electric Dandelions, by Liquid PXL, flowing down towards Base Village. Or, viewers can opt to do the reverse, following the dandelions uphill. Regardless of the route taken, Luminescence is sure to light up your night.

Liquid PXL's "Electric Dandelions"

Liquid PXL's Electric Dandelion's Installation

Liquid PXL's Electric Dandelion's Installation

Dandelions by day, fireworks by night, Liquid PXL’s “Electric Dandelions” installation features six 28-foot-high bursts of light expanding into the evening sky. Each “Dandelion” is composed of 41 light rods erupting out from a focal center, radiating and illuminating its snowy surroundings.

Could you describe the dandelions in your own words and vision?

The Electric Dandelions are giant geometric sculptures based on the natural design of a dandelion. As a Burning Man artist, one year I thought, “Why hasn’t anyone created endless fireworks before?” At the time, I was going to recycle pieces from a previous project based on a sea urchin. The endless fireworks in the dark design doubled as dandelions in the day. In the Aspen setting, it’s the first time I’ve also heard they look like snowflakes. There are 35 dandelions in the world, six of which are located in Snowmass, and this is the first time they’ve been displayed in a ski resort setting.
Electric Dandelion installation in blue
What stories have you heard from people interacting with the Dandelions?

I have heard they either instill a sense of happiness because it reminds them of fireworks, or there is a calming effect. It’s definitely a different feel on the mountain, being in a permanent snowy setting is really cool. With a lot of my art, I want a sense of peace and stillness within the observer. I like people to come away with an appreciation for the geometry of the piece.
What else are you working on?

I was awarded a Burning Man grant to upgrade a piece I designed for Burning Man last year. I am commissioned for the Firefly Music Festival. And I think most importantly, I am pivoting to environmental art, and using renewable energy devices like solar panels and windmills that will be incorporated into the designs of the projects. I am hoping to expand the possibilities of art into a more renewable mindset and want my art projects to contribute to that.

SquidSoup’s “Wave”

SquidSoup's "The Wave" at Snowmass Luminescence

SquidSoup's "The Wave" at Snowmass Luminescence

“Wave” is truly that—an immersive experience in which 500 multi-colored, synchronous bulbs of light wash over the viewer simultaneously, paired with a showering of sound, almost like a jet plane flying overhead. Kids will look on in awe while adults smile with surprise.

This is your second year with an installation at Snowmass, last year showing “Submergence.” What did you learn and experience in the first year that shaped your approach this year?

Well, it’s been an interesting couple of years! As a UK-based organization, our abilities to travel the world and install in exotic locations have been somewhat reduced. So, we were thrilled when we were invited to show another work in Snowmass this year. Our works look so fabulous in the snow—we’d be delighted to show here every year!
SquidSoup's "The Wave" at Snowmass
I love "Wave," what an incredible sensory experience. I read that you are obsessed with water. How did the concept for "Wave" come about?

Thank you! A lot of our work riffs on the elements, flow, energy, and so on. Ocean waves represent renewal and the washing away of the old. They are familiar yet vague, ephemeral, and yet they can contain awesome power and have massive destructive abilities. We have shown “Wave” in a range of places, from cathedrals to deserts and suspended over canals, but this is the first time we have presented it in a ski resort. I really like the idea of an ocean wave on a mountain.
More generally, how do you find inspiration and come up with ideas for your projects?

Anthony Rowe [SquidSoup artist]: Inspiration comes from many places, and each member of SquidSoup will have a different take on this. The source of inspiration is sometimes not so obvious either, as our work is usually quite abstract and definitely open to interpretation. I, for example, am interested in texture, the idea that sounds and light can occupy physical space and have a certain feel, a certain emotional resonance. Light and sound in space are the paints we make our works with. I live in the countryside, so I am presented with the elements daily: woods, rain, water, clouds, the sun, and the interplay between all of these. These are all heavily present in my daily life; they are all fascinating, immensely complex and stunningly beautiful.

You Might Also Like

Two skiers at Aspen Mountain where mobile technology makes things easier
3 Ways Our Tech Makes Your Ski Day Easier