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las vegas

Millennial bashing.

It’s almost a sport among some folks in my age group.

Personally, I like ‘em. I have always had friends that run a spectrum of ages, beliefs, lifestyles, and backgrounds. It works for me. It keeps me interested in life. Honestly, I think it keeps my brain young.

Recently I saw a report about old signage in Las Vegas, owned by one man, kept in a well organized “park” for people to visit, but nonetheless aging and rusting away. Unlighted, but loved. Too expensive to get running again.

Enter a millennial. Craig Winslow. Mr. Winslow is an “experiential designer, with a passion for blending the physical and digital.” http://craigwinslow.com/about/ I think Craig is a genius.

His recent project, Light Capsules, is a project where he brings back to life fading ads and signs across the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom. This work led him to the Neon Museum in Las Vegas.

The signs do not illuminate- Craig enhances them with illumination. The result is eerily realistic and magical. The project offers a thirty- minute immersive experience, after sunset, where the visitor can get close to the signs; in doing so realizing they are not lighted, and many have missing and/or broken bulbs. He has used a scanning process to place eight projectors, strategically, aligning the bulbs and neon tubes of each sign. Electrical and digital Houdini.

Winslow’s process creates digital bulbs where there are none or where they are broken. Standing back from the signs, they appear fully lighted, alive, and vibrant. Getting up close reveals the ravages of time.

Cleverly, the park is playing Elvis, Dean O, Frank, The Chordettes, and Ella, while visitors stroll through. Music is married to the sign it once belonged to and we are transported.

Having been in lighting most of my professional life, I have been asked many times, “Don’t you just love Vegas?”

My answer always surprises people…

One, I have never been. Now that I live in the West, and my daughter has threatened getting married there, I guess I will end up going. It has never been a desire or attraction to me. The only “gamble” I could ever stomach was getting married, and that turned out to be a Sure Thing. Otherwise, I find gambling unnerving and off putting. Not a big risk fan.

Two, from a lighting standpoint, I always found it an assault on the senses and a waste of wattage. Before the innovation of LED’s, many of us in lighting were concerned with the issue of light pollution; have you ever seen an old photo of Vegas from space? Scary. A blob of light. Meaning, from Vegas, you couldn’t see the night sky. Dark Sky lighting was born.

Today I must admit that two things will draw me to Vegas someday; both of them millennials.

The day my daughter gets married in Vegas, and to see Mr. Winslow’s magnificent digital imaginarium.

If you see a millennial today, hug them.

Jenny Boone       
Business Development, IEC Chesapeake