Columbia’s one-of-a-kind laser art installation over the river will debut as planned on Saturday, but it will be on hold for a while after that.
Organizers are working out some kinks in the alignment and automation of the lasers before “Southern Lights” will be able to display nightly, said Lee Snelgrove, director of One Columbia for Arts and History.
“We think we can fix this,” Snelgrove said, though it could take a few months to work out the problem. He’s hopeful the project will go live in early 2018.
“Southern Lights,” created by Columbia artist Chris Robinson, is expected to light up for three hours every night for some eight to 10 years, depending on the life of the lasers. Blue and green laser lights will be reflected by mirrors along the Congaree River between the Gervais Street and Blossom Street bridges.
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You might have seen the lasers being tested over the river on recent nights, as Robinson, Snelgrove and others have been working toward the debut.
Delays are not unexpected for an art project of this scale, and lasers are known to be temperamental even in controlled settings, Snelgrove said.
The one-night showcase of “Southern Lights” will be Saturday from 7:30-10 p.m. with a viewing celebration at Coble Plaza outside of EdVenture Children’s Museum.