City of Alexandria Invites Public to Experience New Sound-Responsive Art Installation in Waterfront Park

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City of Alexandria Invites Public to Experience New Sound-Responsive Art Installation in Waterfront Park

For Immediate Release: March 12, 2019

The City of Alexandria invites the public to experience Mirror Mirror, a new sound-responsive, interactive public art installation in Waterfront Park, with festivities on Saturday, March 30, from 2 to 9 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to walk, dance, play, and sing inside and around the 25-foot diameter, eight-foot tall installation and be bathed in rainbow-hued light. This site-specific artwork will be located in the new interim Waterfront Park through November 2019. The public is invited to share their images of the artwork on social media, using the hashtag #mirrormirrorALX.

Mirror Mirror was created by SOFTlab, a New York-based design studio led by artist and architect Michael Szivos. The work responds to sound with illuminated color and light, allowing visitors to interact with the artwork and affect its appearance using their voices and bodies. The art does not make sound. The piece, which is mirrored, will reflect the urban environment, the river, and visitors themselves. The interior's surface is washed in full-spectrum color and when illuminated, the panels remain mirrored, creating an infinite, colorful reflection that Szivos compares to "a forest of light."

Szivos's team was inspired by the historic Fresnel lenses of Alexandria's Jones Point Lighthouse, which represented the most advanced lens technology of the 1800s. Through a series of prisms, a Fresnel lens concentrated light and directed it in a narrow beam that projected far across a waterway. The public can view two original Fresnel lenses at Alexandria's History Museum at The Lyceum. Like a lighthouse, Mirror Mirror will act as a beacon, beckoning visitors to venture to the Waterfront, interact with the artwork, and explore and enjoy the new public plaza and civic space.

"For Mirror Mirror, we were inspired by the architecture of the lighthouse and how it uses a lenticular lens to cast light, panoramically connecting land and sea," said Szivos. "Through a panoramic array of mirrors and sound-responsive lights, we hope Mirror Mirror will visually blend the waterfront, the fabric of Old Town, and the activity of pedestrians in the new park."

The current project is the inaugural work for the Alexandria Office of the Arts' Site/See: New Views in Old Town public art series, an annual presentation of temporary installations that showcase Alexandria's Public Art Program through innovative, exciting, high-quality contemporary art at this key riverfront location. SOFTlab was selected as the first artist of the Site/See series by a task force and approved by the Alexandria Commission for the Arts. During the festivities on March 30, the 2020 artist will be revealed.

"The Site/See series aims to activate Alexandria's flourishing waterfront with engaging contemporary art," said Diane Ruggiero, director of the Alexandria Office of the Arts. "We're looking to amplify Alexandria's reputation as an arts destination with world-class artwork that captures that public's imagination. We will be bringing work that is unlike anything that can be experienced in the region."

For more information about the Site/See series and the City's Public Art projects, visit

For media inquiries, contact Andrea Blackford, Senior Communications Officer, at or 703.746.3959.

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