Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lights/Luces at La Moneda, Visual Spectacular

Qué quieres que te diga? (What do you want me to say, literally, "what do you want that I tell you (fun with the subjunctive, included!)" Santiago has a lot of really great public spectaculars. Like really, really great. Pequeña Gigante great.

We are tremendously lucky to have all kinds of gorgeous and crowd-gathering things here, and the bicentennial celebrations exceeded my expectations, particularly with this light show where they used the Moneda's (presidential palace #NG) southern face as its canvas. Most of what was really cool about the event was about watching things move, appear, disappear, protrude and retract, all convincingly done with light, but here are some pictures of what the night was like to give you an idea.

I went with a friend, and we stood on Paseo Bulnes, which is a great place to buy a jackknife, a rifle, or any other assorted implements of destruction, or to play with the wicked high ISO settings on your camera.


And to say there was a crowd would be a terrible understatement. Tens of thousands of people were there, and this was the second night we tried to go. We had tried to attend on the kickoff night, but we couldn't get anywhere near the building.


Here's one of the views we had.


and another, which reminded me of this building I saw in Oamaru, New Zealand.


and of course it ended with fireworks, of which I took a few photos, again enjoying the camera settings, and cursing the lack of a tripod.


yay really high ISO. Oh, right, fireworks

At various times, the Moneda was "turned into" a greek temple, a garden, an underwater scene, the backdrop for four emerging moai (giant stone heads from Easter Island)

I loathe mob scenes with all my heart, and Chile does a terrible job of keeping people safe, moving pedestrian traffic and crowd control, which always freaks me out, but this was actually quite well worth it. In fact, I'd say it was one of the coolest visual effects presentation I've ever seen. If you have the patience (and some dramamine), you can check out some of the youtube videos posted on this site.

Next up: boats and planes, or the military shows its stuff in Viña. Patience my adoring fans, patience.

BTW, if you sometimes wish you'd known about this stuff before it was over, and you hadn't noticed over there in the sidebar, I'm a twittering fool, follow me at @bearshapedspher for more up to date details and whatnot.


Matt said...

I have to say that's pretty damn cool. The video probably doesn't do it justice but, all the same, it's really impressive... As you say, crowd control and crowd behaviour in Chile is not the best and puts me off going places that are packed, but I might have made an exception for this...I love fireworks and light shows...

And the very first fireworks in the first video...11/09/73???

Anonymous said...

that's so cool! -br

Emily said...

You got some great pictures! We were there on the first night, and it was total chaos. Worth it, as you said, but there was no crowd control at all - it seemed they hadn't imagined that many people would be there since even things like the audio, for example, weren't set up to reach as far back as Bulnes, where we were (and there were plenty of people farther than that). We actually considered going back another night to see if we could snag a closer spot in order to actually hear it, but in the end we didn't have time.

Marmo said...

I was there with my gf, the last night of the show. I thought at some point in leaving, even considering that we were lucky and had some tickets to be close to La Moneda, but there was so crowded that we couldn´t sit, stand or move, and ended on our knees for like an hour, but in the end, it was worth it.
Here, if someone wants to see it:

Anonymous said...

I was really excited to see it because I wanted to compare it to Argentina's bicentennial celebratory light show in July (which Piñera attended).

I was confused at how the show seemed to be a chronological account of Chilean history up til the end of the Parlimentary Republic, .. then.. uh.. Condorito appeared, and we have whales, and footballs..??

I think if you watch the Argentine version, you can hazard a guess at why in Chile's light show, they chose to show some red lights and scary music as opposed to any specific chronological events. It shows the very different political treatments of the past by Argentina's left-wing government and Chile's right-wing government.