For five days in mid-September, Beakerhead throws an extraordinary five-day-long smash-up filled with extraordinary art, memorizing street installations, and thought-provoking talks. Events are spread throughout different locations in Calgary, which started this past Wednesday and just finished up yesterday. I had the honor of attending last year's inaugural event, which featured the former Commander of the International Space Station Chris Hadfield, and I can tell you personally, it was truly spectacular.
Just like last year, Beakerhead put on an amazing visual display around the city. One thing you can always count on – they always go big. Take for example, El Pulpo Mecanico, a giant two-story mechanical octopus that had thousands of people mesmerized by its fire-breathing tentacles. It truly showcased the incredible feat of engineering that goes into a large scale interactive installation like this. California-based artists Duane Flatmo and Jerry Kunkel masterminded the electrical systems and flame effects, and constructed it primarily out of recycled and used junk found at the their local scrap yard.
From a visual perspective, the main highlight this year was Beakernight, an incredible event that brought all the main outdoor installations together to one place. The amount of energy from Calgarians and visitors from all over the world supporting this event was electric. Younger people were dancing the night away and enthralled by “Laser Cat,” a 16-foot engineered art installation that put on a wicked light show, along with bumping electronica music.
Beakernight brought people of all ages together, and showed them that art, science, and engineering doesn't need to be something learned only in a classroom. It can be celebrated on a Saturday night with family and friends.
Top left photo credit:(Denise Kitagawa)
El Pulpo Mecanico, a two-storey, fire-breathing mechanical octopus created by Duane Flatmo and Jerry Kunkel (Pixels and Photons Creative)
A 12-foot Steampunk Rock Golem and Clockwork Sorceress by Shannon Chappell. (Eugene Kim/My Modern Met)
Daisy is the world's largest solar powered tricycle created by Professor Bob Schneeveis. (Neil Zeller Photography)
Flying Robotic Jellyfish by Festo Bionic Fliers at The Tremendous and Curious World of Beakerhead. (Neil Zeller Photography)
Flying Robotic Jellyfish by Festo Bionic Fliers (Gemma Wallace)
Net Blow-Up – The world's first self-supporting, climbable social sculpture by Numen/For Use. (Neil Zeller Photography)
Laser Cat, a 16-foot engineered art installation from Art Directors Club and Hungry Castle. (Kelly Hofer studios + David Suggitt)
People of all ages dancing the night away with Laser Cat at Beakernight. (Chris Malloy Photography)
Dance and wearable tech group iLuminate rock the stage. (Neil Zeller Photography)
The Periodic Table – Canada's first sustainable energy ferris-wheel-turned-dining-room. (Denis Semenov)