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Laddie John Dill to light up Laguna Beach with "Electric Light Blanket"

The Los Angeles Times

High above Main Beach, a series of red, blue and purple lasers danced on the sand in silence.

The colors reflected in every direction imaginable, spanning miles of the coastline.

As artist Laddie John Dill tested the laser light exhibit on a recent Wednesday night, he was hoping mist would rise above the ocean near the shore. The haze would help make the laser beams all the more visible.

"You see how the colors pick up on the edge?" Dill asked. "It'll be quite amazing."

Dill, a light and space artist who made the glass and argon-gas Light Sentences — pieces that appear as streaks in space — in the late 1960s and early 1970s, was commissioned by the Laguna Art Museum to create a live-performance art piece as part of the museum's annual Art & Nature program. Just after sunset on Saturday, Dill plans to present "Electric Light Blanket," a show of light and laser effects. The performance piece will involve four hours of choreographed laser light sequences projected from the cliffs off Heisler Park down to the shore and surf of Laguna Beach's Main Beach.

The light works will begin with a dot that grows into a grid that eventually blankets the beach, a sight that will be visible from 25 to 30 miles away, Dill said. Chamber music will be played in the background.

"You're just completely in those colors that appear down there," Dill said as he stood near the gazebo at Heisler Park overlooking the beach. "My interest is in the continuity of the performance. I just don't want a colorful light show. It's going to have an abstract storyline.

"The concept struck Dill, a faculty member at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, a few months ago, and he discussed with a professor there how lasers could be projected onto water and sand. Dill then collaborated with Laserium, a manufacturer of laser projection systems for clients worldwide, including special effects for television and motion pictures, to produce a live-performance art piece.


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