February 10, 2015

EVENT: Amazing Lasers - with Obscura Society LA

Photo courtesy of Laserium

I'm an intrepid solo explorer, but sometimes I find something so cool, I just have to show it to other people.

For my next event with Atlas Obscura's Los Angeles Obscura Society, I'm taking folks behind the scenes at Laserium, where I've enjoyed laser light shows set to the music of both Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. Except this time, we're going to actually learn how lasers work.

Because honestly, I have no idea.

But given the fact that it's the perfect confluence of art and science, I'd really like to find out.

Having stumbled upon Laserium so recently makes me a little sad, because I missed decades of their shows at Griffith Observatory which I'll never get to experience. But maybe someday Laserium will project their visual light show on some other domed ceiling in some other epic historic building, and I'll get to see that.

In the meantime, I'm excited to experience some laser amazement with a small group of kindred spirits in a really intimate setting.

Here's the official listing:

Join us for an in-depth exploration of laser technology and a live demonstration of Laserium, the world's first continuously-running laser entertainment – in the actual "House of the Laser."

Ladies and gentlemen, we are about to be floating in space.

On Thursday, March 19, join field agent Sandi Hemmerlein (that's me!) on a cosmic adventure with the people behind the great laser light shows at Griffith Park Observatory (1973-2002) and all over the world, in the studio where many of those shows were designed and choreographed.

In this intimate setting – a private event just for the Los Angeles Obscura Society – we'll delve into the retro-futuristic technology pioneered by Ivan Dryer, the father of the commercial laser light show industry. Dryer, once an aspiring filmmaker, first explored the potential artistic application of lasers at CalTech in 1970 and soon founded Laserium, recontextualizing one of the era's newest developments in science and medicine as "music for your eyes."

Laserium's shows are a three-dimensional, abstract visual spectacular featuring spirals, clouds and aurorae set to a variety of styles of music. In addition to a demonstration, we'll also have the unique opportunity to find out how the patterns of light are created and executed, with an after-show Q&A with Laserium's principal creative staff and even one of the Laserium elders. We'll learn the science of laser physics – Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation – as well as the technology of all the special effects that go into the laserists' visual light shows, which have been experienced by over 20 million people internationally.

All Obscura Society attendees will receive a free ticket for a future scheduled Laserium show (pending availability), a $15 value. 
Light refreshments will be provided.

Related Posts:
Photo Essay: Laser Side of the Moon
Photo Essay: Led Zeppelin, In Lasers

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