Human Floats, Animated City Hall Projections Among New Features at Tonight’s ArtNight Pasadena

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6:19 am | March 10, 2017

The spring installment of ArtNight Pasadena is back in action Friday night and will feature exhibits all over Pasadena by talented local artists; human “floats” will roam free and City Hall will be painted in animated video projections under the night sky.

This one night celebration of creativity that brought over 28,000 people last year is described as an “art walk without walking,” where art goers will be shuttled around town for free to indulge in exhibits from over a dozen participating cultural institutions city-wide.

“It’s unique because it is not located within a small geographic area, as most art walks are. It focuses attention both locally and regionally on the amazing arts and cultural organizations, institutions and artists that call Pasadena home,” said City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Manager Rochelle Branch.

ArtNight Pasadena is sponsored by the City of Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission and the Division of Cultural Affairs and is an ongoing partnership between numerous local cultural institutions and the City of Pasadena.

Twice each year, many of the City’s non-profit arts and cultural institutions open on a Friday night to provide a variety of art, culture, and music — free-of-charge — o the public.

Two featured events in particular at this year’s Art Night seem sure to “wow.”

One of these will be massive rotoscoped animated projections — hand traced animations from live action video as a way to depict more life-like movement — set to thrown up onto Pasadena City Hall.

Created by artists Lisa Mann and Yo-Yo Lin, ROTO Pasadena is a community animation project funded through the National Endowment of the Arts “Our Town” Grant, produced by City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs and Side Street Projects.

Mann and her creative team partnered with teens from Pasadena Youthbuild to create original content for the ambitious display.

“We wanted to connect them with City Hall and the people who worked there. We took a tour and went with a camera and we actually interviewed City Councilmembers about issues of homelessness and racial profiling,” said Mann, who is an animation professor at USC.

“The idea was to bridge these two communities and use art as a way to communicate ideas, to ask questions and to raise awareness,” added Mann.

The footage from the mini-documentary was then rotoscoped by art students at USC over a five week period.

“We used the live action footage and they basically painted ink on it digitally. When the projections take place at night and you see City Hall all lit up beautifully in the background — it’s really moving and it’s really beautiful,” said Mann

Mann is also behind seven human propelled “floats” which will navigate along sidewalks in busy Old Pasadena sponsored by NewTown Foundation–an artist-run organization presenting visual, media, and sonic art exhibitions in a variety of untraditional venues.

NewTown commissioned seven Los Angeles based artists and collaborative groups to create interactive human propelled original works of art, or wearable human floats, according to Mann.

Pedestrians can expect to see these strange creations meander through Old Pasadena along Colorado Blvd between Arroyo Parkway and Pasadena Ave. for the event called “Tote Your Float”.

“It’s really a wild and wacky night for us,” said Executive Director at Armory Center for the Arts Scott Ward

Mann’s human propelled float called “Proto-Floto” is a whopping ten feet long by seven feet high and houses six USC art students inside.

The artists will use battery operated pocket projectors to illuminate the outer skin of the art piece with original movie content created by the artists themselves.

The visuals will include footage of microscopic organisms found living in Pasadena’s Lower Arroyo Park.

“The float is meant to be a protozoan blob that transports life beyond our universe. It functions as a literal and metaphoric wormhole. We actually are projecting microorganisms from Pasadena onto our float,” said Mann.

Art Night is the City’s largest attended cultural tourism event that is produced by the City, according to Branch, who pointed out that the annual Tournament of Roses Parade is not produced by the City.

“We’ve added new participants, increased the budget and have continually attracted more and more audience members,” said Branch.

ArtNight has doubled in size in the last ten years, according to Branch.

“We’ve consistently found that fifty percent of our survey respondents are new to Art Night, which tells us that there is still a market share and audience that we continue to reach,” said Branch.

ArtNight Pasadena will feature free shuttle services for specified routes which can be found on the ArtNight website for the duration of the event between 6p.m. and 10 p.m.

For a full schedule, visit

For more information about ROTO Pasadena, go to