Check Out These Interactive, Light-Up Mural Odes to Miami + Party While You’re At It

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The word “mural” may call a lot of things to mind — perhaps the legend Diego Rivera or the graff found all over the walls of Miami’s Wynwood. Whatever it is you picture, it probably isn’t large-scale paintings on plexiglass that light up and reveal hidden details under LED lights. But that’s the type of mural artist Juan Carlos Zaldívar will be serving up this Thursday night at Cafeina Lounge in in the next installment of the ABSOLUT Locals series.

ABSOLUT Locals, which we first wrote about in August when it landed in San Antonio, is continuing its streak of collaborations with forward-thinking artists, this time handing over the reigns to Cuban-born Zaldívar. An alumnus of the Sundance Film Institute, Zaldívar is a filmmaker and visual artist who arrived in Miami as a teenager, during the dramatic Mariel boatlift of 1980 (an experience he has since probed in the PBS-presented film 90 Miles). His experience forging a new identity in a new city made transformation the key concern of his work. His pieces examine transformative processes everywhere — in nature, in architecture, in culture — and use light and sound in innovative ways to transform the way we experience visual art.

On Thursday Zaldívar will be presenting two original interactive murals: Citron Miami, which explores the direct relationship between the natural tropical landscapes of Miami and its cultural role as the “Gateway to the Americas,” and Absolut MiMo, which explores the Latino influence on Miami’s distinctive, colorful modernist architecture and arts scene. More than just paintings, these pieces invite audience interaction — when people shine any lights over the glass (including your smartphone flashlight), additional details of the paintings will become visible. Zaldívar also developed 3D audio soundscapes that viewers can download and listen to to complement their experience.

The event will be hosted by social media all-star JennyLee Molina, and rounded out by performances from some of our favorite local musicians: electrópico pioneer Mr. Pauer, Miami Bass warrior Otto Von Schirach, and Afro Kumbé, a Locos por Juana side project.

Cool interactive art + good music + custom Absolut cocktails. What more can you ask for?