How Rice Made Its Main Quad Dance

Here’s a video recreation of the 180-degree light-and-sound show from German building-projection artists URBANSCREEN, for Rice University’s centennial celebrations last week. If you weren’t there, you’ll want to watch this full-screen at the highest quality setting — with a screen much, much bigger than what you have. A Lovett Hall-only closeup version is here:


Images: Rice University

14 Comment

  • This was great fun, and better, in my opinion, than Rendezvous Houston. The way the lighting played with the forms and voids of the buildings was wonderful.

  • Absolutely incredible – I will never forget this amazing display of artistry and engineering. A definitive moment in Rice U’s history.

  • Artistic expression at it’s best!

  • I was there by random chance. Was cutting through campus on my way home. It was frickin’ amazing. Better than the opening ceremonies of the London Olympic Games, by far.

    But I had figured that students put it together. It’s disappointing to find out that some German firm was responsible. Makes me think that perhaps the Rice endowment has more money than it knows what to do with. I sincerely hope that they re-use this for recruitment and fundraising activities for years to come. Otherwise, such a waste.

  • Money well spent. The niche is lucky he got to walk across the campus while this was going on. Please note, this was funded through donations, not tax dollars.

    It can be argued that Rice is our city’s most successful venture. Why not celebrate its 100th birthday with some imagination and technological wizardry?

    Don’t be such a troll.

  • “What an amazing show that I wasn’t invited to but crashed anyway. What a waste of money!”

    Niche, Rice is entitled to celebrate its centennial. It’s a moment that merits celebration. And if you’re so worried about penny counting, there were thousands of alums on campus that weekend, many times more than any typical homecoming. I would bet you dollars to donuts that the donations to the school will directly related to the centennial celebration greatly exceed the cost of putting on that show.

    And no, students couldn’t create that type of show. Students and the university don’t own the kind of specialized and incredibly expensive lighting equipment it would take to put on a show as grand as that, even if they had the years it would take to learn how to program it.

  • Yeah, I’m aware of the irony. I was going to stop in at Valhalla and celebrate inexpensive beer for its own sake, but this was better.

    If I were a prospective student, I’d be salivating. OTOH, if I were a prospective donor, this would be kind of a turnoff (to ME). I’m absolutely positive that there are many people for whom ridiculously elaborate institutional propaganda is good cause to open one’s checkbook.

    My two cents…but I think that there are more more important and more desperately needy causes than to briefly entertain some Rice alums.

  • Never celebrate anything. While we’re at it, the cafeteria should only be serving a nutritious ration of beans, milk and rice. The rest of the food budget will go to something more genuinely needy. Students should also be discouraged from wearing school colors or cheering loudly, as it’s pure propogandism. And next year the school should double the number of students to a rooms so that they can shut down half the dorms. No more being wasteful!

    Niche, you went overboard on a centennial celebration – something that, by definition, happens only once every hundred years. I’m sure Rice can start saving up for the next one right now and find that it’s in no dire straits at all.

  • Rice’s Academic Seal displays the words “Letters,” “Science,” and “Art.” I think the Spectacle solidly hits two out of the three. And there were plenty of big-name lectures to furnish the academic part.

  • Sihaya, I try to celebrate the moment rather than numerological increments of measure of the passage of time. Truely, what is the difference between 99 and 100, and what shall be the difference between 100 and 101?

    If spontaneity makes me a party pooper, then that’s what I am.

  • You’re not spontaneous. If you’re down on a celebration for existing, then yes, you are a party pooper. If you hate that somebody made a reason for that celebration, then you’re just grabbing at straws.

  • Okay, so I’m a party pooper. I dislike tradition and rites of passage. I dislike birthdays, anniversaries, centennials, sesquicentennials, the fictitious birth and resurrection dates of Jesus, new years, days that are the eve of another day, recurring days of memorial for a forgotten or unappreciated cause, and holidays that are contrived into being by major corporations.

    I prefer celebrate life events on my own terms, nobody else’s.

    That said, I understand that sheeple are easily influenced and value some extraordinarily strange things (see the list previously enumerated). Sometimes it is worthwhile to bow to those desires in order to trick them into doing stupid things, like feeling pride and giving money to an overtly wasteful cause.

  • The Niche, you are being such a muggle, which is why you didn’t get an invitation to the event by Owl Post, but I know you would not reduce students to a diet of beans and rice. They would get a slice of that chorizo luncheon meat from the Wal-mart deli, which makes every day a party.
    I once suggested at work that we cease the empty ritual of continually sending identical birthday cards around for everyone to sign (at the dismay this engendered — emphasis on gender, I’m afraid — I relented and recommended that we sign all the cards for everyone, for the whole year, assembly-line fashion at the January staff meeting; I was overruled.) Yours is the lost cause; make your peace.
    And the psychological difference between 99 and a hundred must be significant, given the price tag on everything from chorizo salami to RO houses.

  • Oh, okay. Nevermind.