September 16–19, 2021

5 to 10 pm each night | Downtown Santa Cruz | Mostly FREE

Submergence 10

Frequency is a new biennial festival of light, sound, and digital culture hosted in and around the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH). This 4-night downtown takeover activates the museum, neighboring gardens and plazas with installations of site-responsive work, live performances, interactive technologies, and immersive experiences from local and international artists.

From laser domes and videogames to kinetic sculptures, Frequency gives us the opportunity to come together to experience the joy and beauty of art. The festival is designed to illuminate the connections between community and time-based media art through installations and performances that speak to our present moment.

After a year of caution and closed doors, Frequency offers a light at the end of the tunnel.

2021 Artist Lineup

Installations

Ocean of Light: Submergence

WHO: Squidsoup (U.K.)
WHERE: MAH, Solari Gallery
WHEN: 5–10PM (Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun)

ABOUT THE WORK
Ocean of Light: Submergence is a large, immersive, walkthrough experience. It uses over 5,000 individual points of suspended light to create feelings of presence and movement within physical space. The installation transforms space into a hybrid environment where virtual and physical worlds coincide.

The piece moves through several movements, creating a semi-linear 12-minute piece. In its entirety, an abstract narrative is formed with a gradual increase in tension, building to a final climax. Each movement has its own elements, atmosphere, and responsiveness. They are also all open to one’s own interpretation.

squidsoup.com

Entanglement

WHO: The Epicenter (Santa Cruz, CA)
WHERE: Abbott Square
WHEN: 5–10PM (Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun)

ABOUT THE WORK
Entanglement. We are more than just connected – we are entangled. In quantum entanglement, one particle acts on another even though they are some distance away. This piece invites people to experience quantum entanglement on an infinitely large scale.

The immersive installation consists of three main components: a geodesic dome, lasers, and sound. Bouncing off 145 vertices of the geodesic dome are lasers coupled with motion sensors. The lasers represent the idea that we exist in a milieu of inescapable frequencies. It is impossible to move through the dome without touching a laser; it is impossible to move through life without impacting and being impacted by everything and everyone. The behavior of each group in the dome will change the exhibit for the next group. This reflects entanglement as well: our actions have lasting consequences on each other and our world beyond our physical presence.

be-the-epicenter.org

Orbital Decay

WHO: Squidsoup (U.K.)
WHERE: MAH, Sculpture Garden
WHEN: 5–10PM (Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun)

ABOUT THE WORK
Orbital Decay
(2021) extends Squidsoup’s explorations into the creative and immersive possibilities of site-specific sound and light experiences.

Orbital Decay uses the bespoke technologies developed and used in WAVE (as shown at Burning Man 2019) and MURMURATION (SMOCA, 2019-20) to create a new work—a suspended circle of light and sound. Trance inducing, slowly rotating waves of energy gradually pick up momentum to create a vortex of sound and light.

squidsoup.org

SILVER LINING

WHO: Sujin Lim (Seoul, South Korea)
WHERE: MAH, Atrium
WHEN: 5–10PM (Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun)

ABOUT THE WORK
SILVER LINING
makes visible our relationship with nature in public spaces. The work uses two large cloud-shaped balloons inside a building to create new scenery of contemplation in our daily lives. For this project two inflated and illuminated cloud-shaped sculptures will be hung from the MAH’s atrium ceiling. SILVER LINING attempts to highlight humans’ relationship with nature by creating unique and uncanny scenery. The work also offers time and space for audiences to contemplate the intersection of culture and environment, including how humans and nature are connected to and affect each other.

sujinlim.net

Zoom Meeting

WHO: Visual Endeavors Inc., Aron Altmark (Santa Cruz, CA)
WHERE: Abbott Square
WHEN: 5–10PM (Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun)

ABOUT THE WORK
Zoom Meeting
invites visitors to participate in a Zoom meeting that takes place on a real world scale, with only an LED wall separating you from the other caller 10ft away. Since the coronavirus lockdowns started in the US and around the world, many people have found themselves staring into a webcam, attempting to make human connection and maintain bonds with loved ones, coworkers, and friends. Using cameras, screens, and Visual Endeavors’ interactive technologies, this piece is playful and collaborative. This will be the most fun and engaging Zoom meeting anyone has had in months.

visualendeavors.com

Quilt City

WHO: Office Kovacs, Andrew Kovacs (Los Angeles, CA)
WHERE: Abbott Square
WHEN: 5–10PM (Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun)

ABOUT THE WORK
Quilt City is conceived as a freestanding structure that explores connections between technology, temporary structures, and the further collapse of the virtual and physical worlds. Quilt City consists of three freestanding structures at different heights that are loosely arranged in a maze-like configuration. Each structure is clad with an LED screen, turning the LED screen into a mass. Each face of each mass contains a constantly changing facade pattern. As such, Quilt City is a work of temporary architecture that is made of screens. It plays up the importance and interest in architecture today while trying to spark the imagination of the public of what architecture may be in the future.

o-k-o-k.net

The Trellis Project (L’art du Treillageur)

WHO: M. James Becker (Santa Cruz, CA)
WHERE: MAH, Front St. Entry
WHEN: 5–10PM (Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun)

ABOUT THE WORK
The Trellis Project (L’art du Treillageur)
utilizes the trellis form to think through support structures relevant to our current moment. Inspired by the collective action of trellis carpenters (treillageurs) around the time of the French Revolution, the project engages participants in collaborative construction and reflection on systems of support. This iteration of The Trellis Project aims to bring to light the often invisible and underlying support structures of our communities and institutions.

Presented in partnership with UCSC's Department of Digital Arts & New Media (DANM)

mjamesbecker.com

CUBEISM 2: Baroque Edition

WHO: Patrick Stefaniak (Santa Cruz, CA)
WHERE: MAH, Garden Room
WHEN: 5–10PM (Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun)

ABOUT THE WORK
CUBEISM 2: Baroque Edition is a 2-channel video game installation played on a touchscreen and projector. In the game, players interact via the touchscreen to play with cubes that have been cloth simulated, a technique used in computer graphics to imitate realistic movement of cloth in animations. In this game there is no winning or losing, just playing with cubes.

Presented in partnership with UCSC's Department of Digital Arts & New Media (DANM)

patrickjstefaniak.github.io

Performances

Lite Sprites

WHO: David Crellin (Santa Cruz, CA)
WHERE: Various locations around the MAH and Abbott Square
WHEN: 8–10PM (Fri, Sat, Sun only)

ABOUT THE WORK
Lite Sprites is an immersive, affective engagement, anthropomorphizing light in a whimsical form of techno-human hybrid that seeks to connect and delight. This movement-based, improvisational project inscribes light on an embodied register as a metaphor, a space in which to receive and experience light as an energetic and pervasive source of expression and impression. The Lite Sprites move in and around the festival, appearing and disappearing, much like the nature of light itself.

Dancers: Kat Brault, Amy Wilson, Sienna Ballou, Alex Mannings, and Sophie Eldridge
Costume Designer: Jenny Penny

Presented in partnership with UCSC's Department of Digital Arts & New Media (DANM)

theater.ucsc.edu

Quantum Elders’ Consciousness Vaccine

WHO: Karlton Hester (Santa Cruz, CA)
WHERE: MAH, Atrium
WHEN: 5–7PM (Thu, Fri) and 8–10PM (Sat, Sun) with film only; and 7–8PM (Sat) with live performance, prior to screening

ABOUT THE WORK
Quantum Elders’ Consciousness Vaccine
is an interdisciplinary, electro-acoustic ritual involving an audio-visual-sensory journey exploring the connections between molecular forms, spirit, and human consciousness. It combines electro-acoustic soundtracks, algorithmic video, spoken word, and dance performance merged into virtual domains and storytelling, creating a contemplative and entertaining process of participatory and improvisatory video experience, where premeditated and spontaneous creation merge.

Two young female Global-African & Asian Neophytes learn to draw on their inner power to realize and demonstrate the principles of fundamental harmonic balance, freeing each Divine Particle from disorientation, frustrations and distractions. Through music, dance, and visual arts spiritual sisters express cosmic principles of emotions, polarity, attraction, repulsion, cohesion, adhesion, gravity, and vibration.

Presented in partnership with UCSC's Department of Digital Arts & New Media (DANM)

karltonhester.com

The Choose Your Own Adventure Show

WHO: Stellaria Creative Company (Santa Cruz, CA)
WHERE: MAH, Atrium
WHEN: 7–10PM (Thu, Fri only)

ABOUT THE WORK
The Choose Your Own Adventure Show is a collaborative interactive performance organized by Stellaria Creative Company, Visual Endeavors and LED costumers Cosmo Chic. This physical storytelling event will consist of live aerial/acrobatic acts set against audience participatory elements like equipment, lighting, and other thematic fixtures that fit within the theme of the four elements (earth, wind, fire, and water).

With two character choices, three apparatus options, and four performance concepts, the show is unique and fluid every run; a seamless conversation between audience, performer, and technology.

stellaria.company

Glow Hoops Performance & Body Art

WHO: Faeryn Rose (Santa Cruz, CA)
WHERE: Various locations around the MAH and Abbott Square
5–10PM (Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun)

ABOUT THE WORK
Experienced and professional LED hoop performance artist Faeryn Rose offers street performance style LED hoop shows with up to six high powered, state-of-the-art glow hoops in beautiful rainbow colors. In between shows, Faeryn will be providing bright glowing body art for visitors.

Activities

LIT: A Walking & Tasting tour

WHO: Downtown Merchants
WHERE: Downtown Santa Cruz
WHEN: 5–10PM (Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun)

ABOUT THE ACTIVITY
LIT is a self-guided tour of downtown eateries, drinkeries, and shops offering specialty items and discounted pricing for festival attendees. The route will include a variety of establishments with creative menu offerings, themed cocktails, and plenty of retail options to spark a fun evening of art and adventure. Maps of participating businesses will be available at the Downtown Santa Cruz Info Kiosk and the MAH.


Click here for a list of participating businesses.

Presented in partnership with the Downtown Association of Santa Cruz

Entanglement: Family Workshop

WHO: The Epicenter
WHERE: MAH, Secret Garden
WHEN: 5-7PM (Thu, Fri only)

ABOUT THE ACTIVITY
Join The Epicenter in two free family workshops connected to their installation. Families can write a story or make sculptures related to concepts in the artist's installation, which invites people to experience quantum entanglement on an infinitely large scale.

Back to the '80s: An Illuminated Bike Ride

WHO: Santa Cruz Bike Party & Downtown Association
WHERE: In and Around Downtown
WHEN: Fri, Sep 17; 7PM (gather), 7:30PM (ride)

ABOUT THE ACTIVITY
A family-friendly event that encourages local cyclists to light up their wheels for a community bike ride in and around downtown. Participants should gather at 7pm at the Downtown Santa Cruz Info Kiosk (1130 Pacific Avenue) with their pre-decorated bikes or gear up onsite with free glow swag.

The ride starts at 7:30pm, with short and long routes available, and ends near the Frequency exhibition site at the MAH.

See the bike route here.

Presented in partnership with Santa Cruz Bike Party and Downtown Association of Santa Cruz. Free, no registration required.

Lightning Artist Talks & Happy Hour

WHO: Frequency Visual & Performing Artists
WHERE: MAH, Atrium
WHEN: Sun, 5-7PM (talks), 7-8PM (happy hour)

ABOUT THE ACTIVITY
Lightning Artist Talks are a series of fast-paced and visual presentations highlighting the creativity of participating Frequency artists and performers. Hosted by the MAH’s Executive Director, Robb Woulfe, each speaker presents for a maximum of fifteen minutes on how they came up with their idea for the festival and what it was like to see it through to completion.

Join the artists for some social conversation and drinks after the talks, to ask any questions and get further inspiration.

Participating artists include:
• Aron Altmark (Visual Endeavors)
• Jeanette Bent (Stellaria Creative Company)
• Sarah Buckius & Allison Paradise (The Epicenter)
• David Crellin (Lite Sprites)
• Faeryn Rose (Glow Hoops)

Presented with support from The Humanities Institute at UC Santa Cruz

Admission

Frequency is a mostly FREE event. While all outdoor installations can be visited at no cost, there is a small entrance fee to the MAH, where some indoor festival artworks and programs are hosted.

Museum Admission

Adults: $10, Children (12 and under): $5

MAH Members: FREE

Become a MAH member!

MAH members get FREE and expedited entry into the museum during the festival:

  • Friend ($60) | Includes 2 free admissions to Frequency
  • Family ($80) | Includes 4 free admissions to Frequency
  • Fan ($125-999) | Includes 6 free admissions to Frequency

Sign up today and enjoy free admission, special viewing access, exclusive programming, and other member benefits.

Map & Schedule

Map (in English)
Download a site map and schedule of activities.
Download Now
Mapa (en español)

Descarga mapa y horario de actividades.

Frequency FAQs

Frequency is a new biennial festival of light, sound, and digital culture hosted in and around the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH). This 4-night downtown takeover activates the museum, neighboring gardens and plazas with installations of site-responsive work, live performances, interactive technologies, and immersive experiences from local and international artists.

Frequency takes place Thursday, September 16 through Sunday, September 19, 2021 from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm each day.

Yes, the majority of attractions within Frequency are admission-free and open to the public. While all outdoor installations can be visited at no cost, there is a small entrance fee to the MAH, where some indoor festival artworks and programs are hosted.

Museum Admission

  • Adults: $10, Children (12 and under): $5
  • MAH Members: FREE

MAH members get FREE access to museum during the festival:

  • Friend ($60) | Includes 2 free admissions to Frequency
  • Family ($80) | Includes 4 free admissions to Frequency
  • Fan ($125-999) | Includes 6 free admissions to Frequency

Sign up today and enjoy free admission, special viewing access, exclusive programming, and other member benefits.

No, you can visit Frequency anytime between 5:00 pm and 10:00 pm on September 16–19, 2021, although we recommend coming after the sun goes down to see the installations fully illuminated.

No, you do not need a ticket or reservation to attend Frequency. However, if you choose to visit the artworks inside the museum, the cost of admission—if you are not a MAH member—is processed onsite at the time of the event. There is no advance ticket purchase option, other than purchasing or renewing a membership to provide a limited number of museum admissions.

Entrance to the museum is on a first-come, first served basis with capacity limits. To help expedite entry for MAH members, there is a dedicated member line at check-in.

Museum Admission

  • Adults: $10, Children (12 and under): $5
  • MAH Members: FREE

The City of Santa Cruz has a number parking lots in the downtown area. Some of them are free, with time limits. The others are paid parking. There are two garages, Soquel / Front Garage and River / Front Garage, located near the MAH, both of which have disability parking spaces.

Yes, we encourage attendees to visit the food and beverage vendors at Abbott Square Market, immediately next to the MAH. There are also many downtown restaurants in close proximity to the festival site. Please keep in mind that food and drink are not allowed inside the MAH or its exhibition galleries.

No, pets are not allowed at Frequency. Service animals are permitted throughout the festival site; however, this does not include emotional support animals, therapy animals, or companion animals. Only ADA recognized service animals will be allowed within the festival footprint.

No, Frequency is a rain-or-shine event, although some outdoor performances may be delayed or rescheduled due to inclement weather. Dress appropriately and bring an umbrella if necessary!

For the safety of our guests, staff, and community, the MAH is continuing to implement pandemic restrictions during Frequency, including mask mandates, social distancing guidelines, and venue capacities.

Yes, everyone over the age of two is required to wear a mask in all public areas within the festival site, which includes indoor and outdoor exhibition spaces. This guidance includes both those who have and have not been vaccinated. We thank you for helping keep our community safe.

How nice to hear you would like to volunteer! Please email Marla Novo to express your interest.

Frequency is made possible with the support of many partners and collaborators. To read more about partnership opportunities and how to get involved with us, visit our sponsorship page.

Artist submissions for Frequency 2021 are currently closed. Please keep an eye on the MAH website and social media channels for updates about opportunities to get involved in future festivals and projects.

You can also join our mailing list for the most up-to-date information on how to showcase your work at the MAH.

Presented with support from