Altered Statesman

The Ecstatic Light Art of Glenn McKay

A new resurgence of psychedelic visual art comes to the San Francisco Bay Area with the comeback of Glenn McKay. His long history in the Bay Area working with major artists such as Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead gives him unparalleled experience in this esoteric artform.

McKay works with a bank of 10 slide projectors and two oil-dish projectors, two motorized color wheels, and a library of thousands of hand-painted slides from a 20+ year dedication to his form. The range of textures and patterns takes the viewer through strange and beautiful landscapes, always leaving yearning for more at the end of a show.

In the past year, McKay has revived this form and is working with a kaleidescope of contemporary music ranging from African drumming to jazz to ambient electronic music. Performing from one to four times a month in the Bay Area, he is developing an audience cultured by his developments and experiments. McKay is constantly working on new material and one can be assured of new vistas and emotional shadings. The music also changes, sometimes new music by regular performers, and sometimes completely new music, giving the visuals a new context and vitality. His studio contains at least five drawing tables and light tables, and several cabinets full of slides categorized by content.

McKay is in the process of producing a one hour video with original music by Greg Jalbert, and is working on proposals for live performances at the San Franciso Museum of Modern Art and the major museums in New York. His shows are simply mind boggling, and they stand out as a rich alternative to the resolution limits of current video and computer age. Working with slides, dyes and other specialty paints, he is working at the molecular level of resolution, with rich textures and detail in liquid phenomenon not possible in video projection technology.

For information about Glenn McKay's light art, visit

[Asphalt Strawberry]

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