If you see a series of bright multicolored lights flashing on and off through your neighbors’ windows Saturday night, don’t call the fire department. Chances are they’re participating in the City Lights Orchestra project, a collaborative experimental art initiative meant to turn the city streetscape into a kind of massive musical instrument.

Though the entire city is invited to participate, the locus of activity will be on the 500 to 700 blocks of Main Street and in Allentown. (To participate, go to for instructions.)

The project, devised by Antoine Schmitt, signals the start of the University at Buffalo-sponsored MediaCities Conference, which, according to a release, “examines how digital technologies shape the way people experience cities and urban life.” The conference, which begins on Friday, will feature a free public reception at 7 p.m. Saturday at 743 Main St., a pop-up gallery hosting an exhibition of artwork by MediaCities participants Paolo Cirio and Julian Oliver. The larger conference includes workshops and talks in Kapoor Hall on UB’s South Campus as well as at the Statler Hotel. A full schedule and registration info is online at – Colin Dabkowski


MediaCities exhibition – When: 7 p.m. Saturday through May 11 Where: 743 Main St. Admission: Free Info: