Canal Convergence to promote physical and augmented reality art exhibits in downtown Scottsdale

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Canal Convergence

Canal Convergence, an annual art experience along Scottsdale’s waterfront, is set to run from Nov. 6 to Nov. 15. Instead of presenting in a condensed area, Canal Convergence has chosen to spread out the exhibits throughout downtown Scottsdale. The attractions can be viewed from a stroll, a drive-by, or even through augmented reality.

“In difficult times, we come up with different ways to be able to enjoy the arts, and that’s how we are looking to do that here in Scottsdale,” said Scottsdale Arts’ public art director, Kim Boganey.

By downloading an app called “Hoverlay”, viewers will be presented with an augmented reality experience where the artwork will be projected onto their device and can be observed from the phone’s camera — much like in the popular mobile game “Pokemon Go.” Some of the artwork will have additional features when viewed in augmented reality.

Things to Do

“We do have performances, but those performances will be happening in the safe confines of Scottsdale Center of Performing Arts. They have lots of protocols in place for masks and social distancing,” Boganey said.

Canal Convergence will offer, among other things, poetry readings, live music performances, and live-streamed, take-home workshops through in-person and virtual means.

“One of the particular events they will be doing, which is going to be awesome, is a dance performance that will be in a parking garage so folks will come in their car, drive through, park in the garage, (at Civic Center Library), and enjoy a dance performance that will be held outdoors.”

The Goal

With a theme of “Water  + Art + Light”, Canal Convergence challenges artists to promote inclusion and diversity alongside their focus on sustainability.

“One element we’re really excited about is how we are now partnering with local businesses around the artwork,” Boganey said.

“We’re going to partner with businesses to say: ‘If you happen to be out looking at this artwork, why don’t you also go and visit these businesses where you can pick up your slushie, your ice cream, or have a beer if you like [while driving] business to those businesses.’”

Kim Bogane, Public Art Director, Scottsdale Arts

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