Screams, Unrestrained With Zeynep Dagli

Zeynep Dagli is coming to Detroit for Dlectricity 2017!

Her work “Negotiation between Madness & Sanity” takes into account the concept of a disconnect between internal and external struggles and traumatic experience.

The work is a collaborative project with the public. Dagli records people screaming without restraint in an attempt to explore the given right and therapeutic power of screaming. A basic human impulse, screaming both draws attention to the screamer and provokes the viewer.

In her practice, Dagli often collaborates with disabled artists and performers to create work. She completed her PhD in 2009 and has continued making short films for a wide variety of audiences.

This piece will be projected onto the façade of the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD). Dlectricity will also host a Scream Tent on site at MOCAD for the public to participate in this cathartic process.

This work was previously shown in a solo exhibition at filmpro late in 2014. Thank you so much to filmpro and SAHA Association for their generous support of this project. Thanks to MOCAD for hosting this project.

Check out the project here.

Check out Dagli’s thesis here.

Check out Dagli’s blog here.

Gary Schwartz: Bringing Together Generations to Animate

Detroit-based animator, educator and artist Gary Schwartz is coming to Dlectricity 2017!

An Academy Award-nominated filmmaker and lecturer at the University of Michigan, Schwartz conducts hands-on animation workshops for people of all ages and backgrounds.

For 6 weeks prior to Dlectricity, Schwartz will be holding an inter-generational animation workshop to produce the work that will be presented at Dlectricity. The project is inspired by the motto of the city of Detroit, “Speramus Meliora, Resurget Cineribus” or “We hope for better things, it will rise from the ashes.” Using paper, puppets and other tools, workshop participants will tell their Detroit stories in animation through the role of shadow puppeteers.

By bringing together a mix of people ranging from adolescents to seniors, Schwartz will use his knowledge and expertise to bridge generational divides and facilitate a piece made by residents that tells diverse stories about the city.

The workshop is hosted by the Luella Hannan Memorial Foundation. The final product will be projected in the front windows of the Hannan House during Dlectricity. At the same time, inside the Ellen Kayrod Gallery of the Hannan House an animation projection studio will be installed for the public to try during the festival.

Thank you so much to the Luella Hannan Memorial Foundation for their generous support of this project and to the Hannan House for hosting this project!

You can view Schwartz’s Academy Award nominated film here, his Youtube channel here, and essays about Schwartz here and here.

The Red Fox Returns to Midtown!

“Animal Land” is an on-going video projection project from Arizona-based collaborators Lauren Strohacker + Kendra Sollars. They are bringing a unique version of the project to Detroit for Dlectricity 2017!

Strohacker and Sollars tackle issues of wildlife displacement by visually reintroducing animals to their natural habitats, often urban areas now taken over by humans. “Animal Land” raises questions about human perceptions of cohabitation versus conflict and how it impacts native species.

For each iteration of the project, Strohacker and Sollars conduct extensive visual research and digitally render a different species native to the area in which they are presenting. “Animal Land: Detroit” will bring video projections of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) back to Midtown. In projection, the animals are completely decontextualized in an effort to initiate dialogue about the way the native red fox has adapted to city life alongside the human inhabitants of Detroit.

Check out more Animal Land videos here and profiles about the project , here, and an artist talk here! The project was also one of 50 selected from over 1400 entries for the 2015 Arizona Biennial.

“Animal Land: Detroit” will be projected at the Garfield Lofts above Rite Aid. Thanks to WH Canon Landscape Company for their sponsorship of this project!

Kelley Bell Bringing Work From Zagreb to Detroit!

Kelley Bell is a graphic designer, animator and projection artist based in Baltimore City. She is an associate professor and associate chair of the Visual Arts Department at University of Maryland Baltimore City.

Bell’s piece “Carnival Love Wall,” first exhibited as part of Animafest Zagreb, will be presented again at Dlectricity 2017. It is a modular projection work to be shown on the façade of the Prentis Building at Warren and John R that combines simple animated shapes and patterns to create a dynamic, complete surface.

In 2016, Bell was part of the Light City Baltimore festival. She collaborated with artist Corrie Parks on the piece “Projected Aquaculture” to highlight shifts occurring in Chesapeake Bay and Baltimore. This spring, Bell showed her work “Babel” at the David M. Brown Planetarium in Arlington, Virginia. The work used the dome of the planetarium to take viewers on a virtual tour. Challenging the concept of monument, Bell virtually mixed historical domes to create a new visual sensation.

Check out “Babel,” “Projected Aquaculture,” a preview of “Carnival Love Wall” and other works on Bell’s website here.

She received a Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Artistic Innovation and Collaboration Grant in 2013, and her projection series “The Clock Strikes 100” was named Best Public Art Project by Baltimore Magazine in 2011.

Thank you so much to the University of Maryland Baltimore City for their generous support of this project, and to Wayne State University for their support!

Graffiti with Light from Nikola Dicke at Dlectricity!

Germany-based artist Nikola Dicke is coming to Detroit for Dlectricity!

Her project “Mobile Light Graffiti” uses existing elements of the built and natural world as her canvas in order to analyze the way we examine space. She uses soot-blackened glass on a 7000 lumen overhead-projector to project onto walls, trees, buildings—anything with an interesting surface—and subsequently “draws with light.”

Dicke’s unique method uses performance, painting and sculpture to change the atmosphere of a defined space and create new symbols and ideas. At Dlectricity, she will be drawing with light on the side of the Cathedral Church of Saint Paul.

Dicke has been the subject of much press in Germany. This summer, she is part of an exhibition honoring Durher’s legacy in woodblock prints at the History Museum of Osnabruck, along with 12 other artists.

Check out a video of her work in action here.

Thank you so much to the Cathedral Church of St. Paul for hosting this project!

The Seussian Arkestra Returns to Dlectricity Bigger and Better!

The hit installation “Seussian Arkestra,” from Noel Night 2015 will return bigger and better to Dlectricity 2017! Jake Chidester + Alisyn Malek are back, building on the piece to present “The Expanded Seussian Arkestra.”

“The Expanded Seussian Arkestra” is a sculptural installation, combining the whimsical aesthetic of Dr. Seuss with the sonic expression of legendary jazz composer Sun Ra’s Arkestra ensemble. The installation is an interactive experience where each sculpture brings a different sound to create the overall composition.

Chidester and Malek own Corktown Studios, an artist collective and exhibition space in North Corktown. As stated on their website, “Corktown Studios, in conjunction with complementary rejuvenation projects in the neighborhood (hospitality, housing, agriculture) aims to contribute to the emerging identity of the area as a diverse and accessible hub for community-oriented creatives.”

Chidester also works as an architect and designer. He recently co-designed Bedrock’s new headquarters. Malek was one of Crain’s Detroit Business’ “Twenty in their 20s” in 2014 for her impressive schedule of working as an investment manager for GM Ventures and simultaneously running a gallery. With a background in engineering and a foot in both art and business, she is certainly one of the most interesting creatives in the Detroit scene today. Check out another article about Malek here.

Also be sure to check out the pair’s WAWAD wire car in the online gallery here!

Thank you so much to Clark Hill for their generous support of this project! The project will be located on the grounds of the Rackham Building at Woodward and Farnsworth.

Mayer + Empl + 3D Architectural Space Mapping at Dlectricity

German duo Martin Mayer and Quirin Empl (better known as mayer + empl) are bringing their 3D mapping project “Architectural Space Intervention” to Dlectricity 2017!

Accomplished 3D video mappers, the pair constructs interior and exterior installations that track the architectural elements of a space and reconstruct them virtually in order to change the usual perception. Their installations also record the sounds and noises of visitors and play them back as part of the installation. Space is given a life of its own.

For Dlectricity, mayer + empl’s project “architectural space intervention” will be located at the Mike Kelley Mobile Homestead at MOCAD. The projection will use white lines to trace the space, highlighting architectural elements. Infrared depth cameras will track visitors entering the installation, so that their bodies are then transformed into silhouettes and projected as white lines along with the architecture.

Most recently, they exhibited at the Museum Haus der Kunst in Munich and the Spring Attitude Festival in Rome in 2016.

Thank you so much to MOCAD for hosting this project!

Check out other installation videos on their website here.

Underground Creative Spaces Highlighted by Aaron Jones + Wes Taylor

Collaborators Aaron Jones and Wesley Taylor are bringing their piece “The Underground” to Dlectricity!

Using hot-wire milled foam, Jones and Taylor will create an architectural model that both physically and metaphorically illuminates the creative spaces in Detroit operating outside mainstream pop imagery. The foam will be carved with volumes and voids reminiscent of caverns, catacombs and cathedrals—spaces that exist below “above ground” urban depictions of the city.

Most recently, they have collaborated on work for the Complex Movements collective. Their interactive multimedia installation piece “Beware of the Dandelions” put a spotlight on community advocacy, citizenship and social change. Described by Complex Magazine as “a Detroit artist collective that you need to know,” Complex Movements includes Taylor as a member and Jones as a contributor—he designed the pod structure in which “Beware of the Dandelions” performances take place.

Both graduates of Cranbrook Academy of Art, Jones and Taylor have worked together in the past as co-directors of Talking Dolls, an experimental studio in Detroit, where Taylor still works as a co-director. Talking Dolls will be holding design workshops beginning August 12—be sure to check them out!

Jones has work on display at Volume Gallery in Chicago, IL, on view now through August 26. In the past, he collaborated with another Dlectricity artist, Carrie Morris, to create structures that keep public space clean in Hamtramck. He also works as an assistant professor at Lawrence Technological University.

Taylor remains a lead artist with the Complex Movements collective–check out another article here. He also works as an emcee and graphic designer for Detroit Hip Hop group Athletic Mic League. Check out an impressive documentary about Taylor and his work here.

We are so excited to have their work on display at the Rackham Building at Woodward and Warren. Thank you so much to Wayne State University for hosting this project!

Luxloop Bringing Vision To The Walls

Luxloop is a collective focused on using technology to change the world, tell stories and create engaging experiences that evoke wonder.

Their work is interactive and playful, using digital technology to enhance reality rather than replace it. The project they are bringing to Dlectricity,”If The Walls Had Eyes,” is rooted in reality—it uses images of real human eyes and projects them using Microsoft Kinect technology that responds to human motion. The eyes of the installation follow the viewer, raising questions about privacy in the digital age.

Based in NYC and Los Angeles, Luxloop was named winner of the 2015 3M Art and Technology Award Competition for their project “Overheard,” a narrative app launched at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Standing near different pieces of art in the galleries while using the app sets off different audio content, with “overheard” snippets of conversation on topics ranging from the artwork itself, other nearby pieces or something unrelated entirely.

Luxloop is made up of the duo Ivaylo Getov and Mandy Mandelstein. They use technology to send a message through their work, but remain adamant about art that uses technology remaining art and not being overshadowed by the technology involved. Check out Ivaylo Getov’s thoughts on this here!

“If The Walls Had Eyes” will be located at the Detroit Artists Market (DAM). Thank you so much to DAM for hosting this project!

Rashaad Newsome: King of Arms, Shade Composition Coming to Detroit

We are so excited to welcome Rashaad Newsome, headlining artist of Dlectricity 2017!

Newsome is committed to engaging with the city of Detroit through a summer residency leading up to the festival as he prepares three pieces for Dlectricity 2017.

Newsome’s practice brings together video, music, collage, and performance. He is known in the art world for reclaiming the vogue scene in his work—the artful 1970s underground queer ballroom dance scene, brought into the mainstream by Madonna in the 1990s that Newsome aims to take back for the queer black community.

For the production of his vogue-themed video work, Newsome makes a point of hiring actual vogue performers as a way to give the community visibility in the art world. Newsome told the New York Times Style Magazine, “Just by putting these bodies within an institutional art-world context is already a major statement, because I didn’t see work like or about this ever in a museum or gallery until I started making it.” Check out the rest of his interview here.

Newsome was born in New Orleans and these roots inform much of his work, particularly the staging of his “King of Arms” New-Orleans-style procession on Friday, September 22, at 7:00 p.m., circling the Detroit Institute of Arts to kick off Dlectricity 2017.

Newsome has been collaborating with the Cass Tech High School Marching Band and the Gabriel Brass Band to prepare them to lead the parade. “King of Arms” will also feature the Miami Bike Life motorcycle crew; members of the Detroit Vogue scene; Newsome’s NYC troop the Vogue Knights; Philadelphia LGBTQ rapper Kevin JZ Prodigy; the Detroit East Side Riders; and a “King of Arms” float, a customized Ford F150 truck wrapped in the artist’s imagery.

Newsome will also direct one of his critically-acclaimed “Shade Composition” performances at 8:00 p.m. Saturday, September 23 at the Detroit Film Theater inside the DIA.

“Shade Composition” will be performed by Newsome’s ensemble of locally cast self-identifying black female performers. Newsome acts as conductor and vocal choreographer, leading the performers through a series of vocals and gestures that are synthesized to form improvisatory orchestral music. Costumes for the performance will be designed by Rick Owens.

Newsome’s third piece will be a new original video work commissioned specifically for Dlectricity to be shown in the Great Hall at the DIA throughout the festival.

Newsome received the 2017 Rush Arts Gold Rush Award and is part of the 2017 NY Live Arts Live Feed residency program. He has exhibited and performed at the Studio Museum in Harlem, The National Museum of African American History and Culture in DC, The Whitney Museum in NYC, The Brooklyn Museum, MoMAPS1 in NYC, as well as numerous other locations nationally and internationally.

Currently, Newsome has work at MOCA Jacksonville, FL as part of the “Synthesize: Art + Music” exhibition, on view now through September 24.

Newsome also has a solo show at MMoCA in Madison, WI, showcasing both early and recent video work documenting vogue culture, on view now through December 3.

Thank you so much to Hyphen, an artist management firm founded by Andrea Glimcher, for proposing Rashaad Newsome as the 2017 Dlectricity artist-in-residence.

Thank you so much to the Knight Foundation for their generous support of this residency, and to the Detroit Institute of Arts for hosting all three of Newsome’s projects.

Check out a studio visit and interview with Newsome from 2016 here.

Check out an interview with Saint Heron, a collective album produced by Solange Knowles (Newsome designed the cover art) here.