One day in late January 2022, Ms. Karen and I visited the Tucson Botanical Garden, for two reasons in particular. First, to experience the “Seeing the Invisible” alternative reality program for which we had the applicable app. And second, to enjoy lunch at the Garden’s restaurant, Edna’s Eatery.
According to the Tucson Botanical Garden’s latest app, here is the beginning of the instructions to the Garden’s latest fantastical exhibit.
“Seeing the Invisible is an augmented reality contemporary art exhibit featuring AR works by thirteen international artists. The exhibit can only be viewed upon visiting the participating botanical gardens and through this app.
To explore the exhibition, please follow the route outlined on the garden’s map. Each artwork may only be viewed at the location designated for it, as clearly marked on the map.”
This installment is titled ‘ZERO’. Read the Artists section in the App to learn more about it. The origin of those numbers on the “0” is quite interesting. Take a tablet or even your laptop for a better experience.
The origin of this “Video” is interesting as well. It is the work of Japanese artist, Daito Manabe. This figure morphs into a dance that you or I could not do on our best day. It is mesmerizing.
To understand the origin and intent of these installations, it might be better to read about the artists and their work first, just to get a glimpse and an idea of meaning and intent. Some of these we missed the awesomeness of, which would have come from understanding more about the making of it. This one, it turns out, is more about ice caves.
This piano and birds plucking strings is Ms. Karen’s favorite. She could have sat there and watched it for hours. It is called Dawn Chorus by Sarah Meyohas, US.
And, then, there are the gardens, and other exceptional exhibits on display right now, roughly through the end of May. All Things Nature by David Conklin. We will have to go back for this one. Also on exhibit are Glory in the Garden, Abundant Future and, of course, Butterfly Magic, an annual favorite, is back.
After viewing all the “Seeing the Invisible”, we stopped in at Edna’s for a bite to eat. Catered by Westward Look it serves fresh, seasonal picks and flavors of the Southwest. When we arrived the patio was not busy. And the service was fine, although there was only one server for the entire patio. When our server brought us our bill, she apologized for the delay, but, given the surroundings and the sun, it did not seem like there was much of a wait. Karen ordered the Chicken Tortilla Soup, being a lightweight and I ordered the cheeseburger with bacon and chips. Karen mentioned that the chicken in her soup was a bit tough. But my cheeseburger with bacon was excellent.
Butterflies are magical creatures. Especially at Tucson Botanical Gardens. A bronze, clay, dalle de verre glass, and steel sculptor, Alex Heveri is a Tucson artist who has been working in this medium for over 25 years.