Exploring Portal Potty and extra at Creek Present 2022

November 20, 2022

A cold drizzle on Friday couldn’t hold me from seeing Waterloo Greenway’s Creek Present, an “annual show of illuminated artwork” alongside the banks of downtown Austin’s Waller Creek.

I’m going yearly with household or pals to discover the inventive gentle sculptures. Final 12 months’s Creek Present deserted the creek in favor of the conveniences of Waterloo Park. However this 12 months it was again alongside the low-lying creek (the place monsters lie in wait?), with distributors and stay music arrange within the park for pre- or post-show enjoyable.

Portal Potty

A preview of the portal as you method

Portal Potty by Salmo Gunn is the set up I most wished to see. A row of porta-potties that whisks you off to a different dimension? So long as there are not any leaks, I’ll go. Right here’s the official description:

“Like an city wardrobe to Narnia, inside this magical hall of porta potties is a seamless tunnel of disco lights and whimsy. Inside partitions and all fixtures of the Portal Potties have been eliminated, making a hallway illuminated by twinkling LED strips and panels, with an exit within the again that isn’t seen to exterior viewers. Silhouettes of those that enter appear to vanish on the finish of the tunnel, creating the phantasm that entrants have been magically transported into Creek Present 2022. This set up is a smile and a wink to look previous the floor of issues and to search out magnificence in surprising locations.”

Coming into on the “hidden” entrance in again.

Slip on a pair of 3-D glasses, and the magical portal is revealed. Away we go, into Creek Present!

Dream Pants

Subsequent up is Dream Pants by Bade-Schaffer:

“In that twilight time between awake and asleep, I grew to become conscious of a flickering dream. Down alongside the banks of a forgotten creek, unusual apparitions had been calling to me. Pants, simply pants, frolicked about. They laughed and whispered, ‘Hey, test it out!’ They glowed with the sunshine of a promise to inform, that quickly this place will likely be joyful and effectively. Thanks dream pants for sharing your secret! I’m so delighted! (I don’t assume I can hold it.)”

Black light-illuminated pants sit on benches, enjoying guitar and listening. Notice the pants within the background with precise individuals in them. Have been they a part of the set up? We weren’t positive.

Different pants are climbing right down to the creek and wading or sitting on the financial institution.

A household of pants lounges on a blanket with plates of meals (HoHos?) unfold out earlier than them.

And a pink pair of mother denims pushes a child stroller with a tiny pair of pants mendacity inside. Dream Pants was zany sufficient to grow to be a shock hit with our group.


Underneath a bridge we discovered NeonCity by AIA Austin, a satisfying, neon-colored illustration of Austin’s skyline:

“NeonCity is an summary illustration of Austin’s downtown skyline on Waller Creek. The exhibition portrays the town’s colourful and vibrant power that may be appreciated throughout Woman Fowl Lake, watching the lights of downtown and its reflection within the water. As the town expands, these constructing blocks symbolize the expansion and potential alternatives as Austin turns into an ever-evolving metropolis that creates alternatives for extra individuals to return collectively as a neighborhood.”

Enter the Dragonfly

Enter the Dragonfly by Odonata wowed me with big, colourful dragonflies that appear to swoop and dive above the creek.

Right here’s the official description:

“Enter the Dragonfly envisions the ecological restoration and transformation of Waller Creek as a wholesome habitat for a variety of native life. Dragonflies are one of many oldest and most dependable indicator species of a thriving and steady aquatic ecosystem.

Enter the Dragonfly consists of larger-than-life metallic dragonflies hovering above the creek waters, their reflections glowing beneath them. Utilizing scale and lightweight, the sculptures visually deliver consideration to the important relationship between city and pure environments whereas inspiring curiosity, pleasure, and considerate engagement from the viewer with Waterloo Greenway’s mission.”

Altering colours…


Subsequent up is Sirius by Nationwide Group of Minority Architects (NOMA) of Central Texas:

To be marginalized in America
is to be a star on the face of midnight.
We continuously need to rise above every part
and shine our brightest
When it’s darkish exterior. – Rudy Francisco

“Sirius is a visible translation of the poem Margin by African-American spoken phrase poet Rudy Francisco. Francisco’s oeuvre confronts problems with race and politics, and in Margin, he expresses the diminishing emotions of marginalization by means of the great thing about celestial imagery. Whereas emphasizing a star’s solidarity and evaluating it to social exclusion, he challenges us to ‘shine our brightest’ as an exemplar for social change.

Via a pure meander drawn from Waller Creek, NOMA’s Sirius breaks down the rigidity of the bridge’s infrastructure and guides customers by means of a group of star-laden vessels – a visible illustration of the sweetness and power of marginalized communities. After we come collectively we shine brighter by means of the darkness.”


Luna by Austin Basis for Structure appears designed to appear to be drainage pipes in a stone wall beneath a bridge. A mirror and lights hanging on the wall create the phantasm.

“The dance between the moon and Earth’s our bodies of water is one as previous as time itself. From influencing tides alongside our seacoasts, to regulating precipitation feeding our inland rivers, invisible forces are at work proper earlier than our eyes. LUNA seeks to light up the invisible bonds between our surroundings and one another. With its mirrored materiality, the set up serves as a logo for variety and fairness, whereas encouraging reflection on the concept all of us contribute to the way forward for our city material. The infinity impact of the lights and the mirror creates a spot for everybody and alludes to the infinite potentialities all of us symbolize to our metropolis of Austin.”


Environmental commentary is a well-liked theme at Creek Present annually, and Inventories by Lawrence Group fills that area this 12 months:

“Joseph Jones, late UT Professor and champion of Waller Creek, would spend his lunch hour strolling the creek the place it handed by means of campus, maintaining an ‘stock’ of issues seen and located – wildlife, together with beer cups and plastic baggage – acknowledging the indicators of human presence amidst the ample pure magnificence. For our set up, we’re channeling our interior Joseph Jones and amassing a whole bunch of used plastic bottles straight from the creek and from different native sources, coating the within with luminescent paint, and arranging them geometrically simply above the floor of the water. We are going to then shine UV gentle throughout the tops to rework them right into a field of glowing objects – a shiny ‘stock’ of trash – highlighting the human contribution to the story of this glorious ‘cretaceous limestone gutter.’”


Good-Vibrations by Studio 5-1-2 ended up being my favourite set up, for sheer disco ball and stalactite sparkle alone.

“GOOD-VIBRATIONS is a celebration of the hidden landscapes that run beneath our ft and proceed to form our city atmosphere by bringing them to the floor. Impressed by stalagmite and stalactite formations inside caves, this set up drips and oozes over Waller Creek to recreate a cavernous expertise. Kinds are lined with mirror items and spotlighted to scatter gentle within the spirit of a disco, set to the echoing sounds of dripping water and chirping bats (with some remixes in-between). We encourage attendees to have a good time subterranean landscapes with GOOD-VIBRATIONS by immersing themselves in an expertise that employs lighting and sound to focus on wealthy interactions and the dance of life’s organisms.”

Illuminated bats swoop beneath the bridge, as their chirps echo by means of the mirror-ball cave.

Waterloo Park

If you wish to attend Creek Present, there’s one night time remaining within the 10-day run. Free advance reservations are really useful to make certain of getting in, so go join now, as spots are restricted. The organizers have needed to cancel just a few evenings due to rain, so that might occur. But when the Creek Monster permits, it’s a enjoyable present to expertise.

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