Over 225,000 people expected for three-day free arts extravaganza in DUMBO

DUMBO, Brooklyn (September 6, 2012) – From huge projections across historic buildings and the Manhattan Bridge to interactive performances in Brooklyn Bridge Park to whimsical art floating on the East River, the 16th Annual Dumbo Arts Festival will offer a free feast for the senses from September 28-30, 2012, organizers announced today.
This year’s schedule, which was unveiled by organizers today, cements the Dumbo Arts Festival as one of the city’s largest and most ambitious arts events. Over three days, an expected 225,000 art-lovers will experience extraordinary art by more than 500 artists from around the world.
Set amid the backdrop of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline in one of the city’s most tech-friendly and culturally rich hubs, the Festival will showcase installations in stores, lobbies, scaffolding, and alleyways, performances and exhibits on more than 50 stages, and tours of 100 open artist studios.
The 16th Annual Dumbo Arts Festival
Friday, September 28th to Sunday, September 30th
Friday, September 28th – 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday, September 29th – 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday, September 30th – 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
All outdoor projections are open from 6 p.m. to midnight all three nights.
Cost: Free
“The 16th Annual Dumbo Arts Festival will bring the entire neighborhood to life, transforming its streets, parks, bridges, buildings, waterfront, and even sky into canvasses, stages, exhibition spaces,” said Lisa Kim, Festival Director. “Best of all, it is completely free, enabling everyone to experience extraordinary local, national, and international art at a price that can’t be beat.”
Highlights of the 16th Annual Dumbo Arts Festival, which is presented by Presenting Sponsor AT&T and Two Trees Management, include:
  • Superhero, an interactive projection mapping experience in which festival-goers exhibit superpowers, including flying over the multi-story façade of Empire Stores, shifting their size, throwing light beams, and more. Created by Wildbytes, Superhero is the 2012 AT&T Signature Artwork.
  • Codex Dynamic (Leo Kuelbs and John Ensor Parker, curators) is a large-scale video projection exhibition presented on the Manhattan Bridge Anchorage and Archway. Featuring video artworks by internationally renowned video artists, the exhibition is epic-size eye candy that transforms space, time, and our perceived reality.
  • Bureau of Apologies 2.0 (Brent Birnbaum): At The Bureau of Apology, participants fill out cards with a series of questions and then drop them in a locked box. Stop by and leave feeling better about yourself.
  • Inverted Sky (Erika Harrsch) – Taking place in the sky above Brooklyn Bridge Park, this musical performance will feature kites made of banknotes from different countries transformed into beautiful butterflies
  • Tidal Voyage (Nathaniel Lieb) – A floating sculptural garden in the East River featuring large, reflective sculptures including a golden water lily, a disco ball and a satellite
  • Bartertown (The Heather Hart Experience) – Participants haggle for something they want their own ideas, services, songs, stories, unwanted goods, handmade art, appliances, or anything they think may hold value.
  • Flex is Kings Live – Flex is Kings LIVE is a rare chance to experience the excitement and power of the underground street dance culture of “Flex”. Flex is an East Brooklyn born dance movement made up of many unique styles. This will mark their first public stage performance with Juillard Faculty Jerome Begin and Electro-Cellist Chrissy Lancaster of Tranimal backing them with their quirky eccentric blend of beats bleeps and strings.
  • First time this year, the festival is partnering with the Children’s Museum of the Arts to offer a wide-range of family art projects, free-form activities, media workshops, and exhibits themed around the DUMBO Waterfront, including a carousel-making workshop inspired by the beloved local landmark Jane’s Carousel.
A selection of highlights by category, including participatory and interactive art, performance art, technology-related art, and urban art adventures, can be found below. The full Festival schedule can be found here. For the latest updates on artists and exhibitors, follow the festival on Facebook and Twitter (@dumboartsfest).
Large-Scale Installations and Projections Highlights:
  • Superhero, Wildbytes. Superhero is an interactive projection mapping experience, in which participants are transformed into superheroes. Viewers are able to fly over the historic façade of Empire Stores, while enjoying a number of super powers, which they can control with natural gestures. These powers included throwing light balls, becoming gigantic or tiny, and, of course, flying.
  • Codex Dynamic, Leo Kuelbs and John Ensor Parker, curators. “Codex Dynamic” is a video projection exhibition presented on the Manhattan Bridge Anchorage and Archway. Two site-specific, large-scale, mapped projections will rotate with a selection of single-channel video artworks by internationally renowned video artists. The exhibition seeks to conjure artistic inquiry relating to the subjectivity of space, time and the effect they have on our perceived reality.leokuelbscollection.com
  • Every Person I Know and Every Person I Don’t Know, David Greg Harth. As part of a public art project making its debut at the Festival, four-foot versions of photos of New Yorkers will be projected on the Empire Stores scaffolding along the waterfront for the next year.
Participatory and Interactive Art Highlights:
  • Bureau of Apologies 2.0, Brent Birnbaum. The Bureau of Apology is a multifaceted family-run business that collects anonymous information from willing participants. Stop by and leave feeling better about yourself.
  • Barter Town, The Heather Hart Experience.Participants are invited to bring their ideas, services, songs, stories, unwanted goods, handmade art, appliances – anything they think may hold value – and haggle for something that they want.
  • Made With Love & Sabotage I, II, & III, Stacy Scibelli.Made with Love consists of 300 unique and interactive garments, which are ambiguous and mysterious in their intended use. Participants are free to choose how each garment is to be worn. This investigative process creates an instantaneous intimate dialogue between friends and strangers. It is a living, breathing, morphing installation hinging on the innovation and personal expression of the audience. Sabotage I, II & III consists of a series of 3 “tickle machines,” created from two-person vest-like garments with shared sleeves constructed by hand out of leather, wool, and cotton. The apparatus holds the participants’ hands in each others’ armpits, requiring a social and psychological negotiation of who is to tickle and who is to be tickled.
  • Heart Path, Kim Holleman. A labyrinth-like, concentric heart rendered with ropes, harmoniously gathering people together in a public space as a community. Heart Path is a nod to traditional fair attractions like cakewalks and mazes. However it invites you to interact with its shape and create your own piece.
  • Embroidered Post-it Note Confessions, Iviva Olenick.Brooklyn artists Iviva Olenick, embroiders anecdotes and musings from her life on scraps of antique fabric. Visitors are invited to write down something personal on a post-it – a wish, thought, dream, secret crush, love note – and the words would be incorporated into Iviva’s work.
  • Pastoral Portrait Backdrop and Studio Session, Caroline Burghardt.Mentally transport yourself for a moment from the urban concrete landscape to an idyllic pastoral space, through Caroline’s large romantic landscape backdrops. Bring your camera and pose for a picture you won’t be able to take anywhere else in the city.
Performance Highlights:
  • Inverted Sky, Erika Harrsch. Live kite/music performance and flying installation. Specimen banknotes from different countries are turned into butterfly-shaped kites that mimic the delicate beauty of these insects in migratory flight.
  • Styrene Lounge, Lizzie Scott and Andrew Bucksbarg.A group of dancers will move, lounge and pose on/in soft beanbag-like sculptural constructions that function as both clothing and furniture. Visitors will be invited to try out these huge pillows to rest, move or play on the grass. The sculptures are large, lumpish and clumsy, but also buoyant and lightweight. Coupled with the body, they create an oddly sympathetic slapstick, in which everyone appears odd and graceless yet thoroughly at ease. This work is a continuation of The Styrene Fantastic, an ongoing multi-disciplinary project that seeks a transformative purpose for the mountains of Styrofoam we throw away.
  • Spontaneous Art Hear talking flowers tell surrealist, Wonderland-like stories, play hilarious games with alien robots, and laugh like never before. The creative team behind Spontaneous Art creates interactive performances to bring strangers together for moments of communal laughter, social connectivity and flashes of creativity
  • School Evacuation, Josephine Decker. A school of fish moves in slow-motion out of the ocean and across the Brooklyn Bridge, escaping pollution, rising sea temperatures and overfishing to surprise and delight unsuspecting bikers and pedestrians. Dressed as traveling 1940’s schoolchildren and teachers but with fish heads, the performers in School Evacuation call to mind the deportations of World War II, but bring attention to the types of evacuations we force upon our marine life today.
  • Soundmoves, Friendly Falcons.Soundmoves tells the story of specific sites, objects and architectural details in DUMBO, combining music and sculptural interventions. A self-contained 2-person band and nomadic theater, creates a narrative which models the rise, transit and setting of the sun as a plot line. http://dumboartsfestival.com/exhibition/tidal-voyageDetails of the physical, social and intuitive topography are woven together to create a narrative sense of what is seen each day or passed over.
Urban Art Adventures:
  • Newtown Creek Armada, Laura Chipley, Nathan Kensinger, Sarah Nelson Wright.The project is a model boat pond on the shores of the Newtown Creek, an NYC superfund site. Each boat has a wirelessly transmitting underwater video camera that records the hidden world beneath the surface. Currently, public access to the creek is limited. The Newtown Creek Armada is a public art project that allows visitors to safely explore the creek and engage with its rich history.
  • Tidal Voyage, Nathaniel Lieb.Three large, reflective floating sculptures in the cove on the East River in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Shaped as a golden water lily, a disco ball and a satellite, their reflective surfaces ricochet ambient light and mirror themselves, the water and the people on shore. On Friday night at 8pm, the artists from The Newtown Creek Armada will arrive with one of their 3-ft-long, remote-control model boats for an interactive performance with the floating sculpture garden. Visitors are invited to draw paths for the artists to trace.
  • Softwalks, Howard Chambers and Bland Hoke. Sidewalk sheds are an omnipresent feature throughout NYC. These utilitarian scaffolding tunnels cover the sidewalk, protecting pedestrians from falling building debris. Softwalks diversifies the single function of sidewalk sheds by incorporating elements such as a simple seat, counter, planter, screen, and lighting covers. citysoftwalks.com
  • Moss Graffiti, Hugo Rojas.A series of moss graffiti of animals that are originally from the New York area. NYC is considered the city of immigrants and often the center of conversations regarding who is considered an immigrant, who came first, who is a real New Yorker, and so on. This piece aims to revive the real New Yorkers, creating live visuals of the animals that lived in this area for centuries, in the form of moss graffiti.
Tech and Digital Art:
  • ITP Residents’ Show – A group of ten artists whose mission is to explore the imaginative use of communications technologies; how they might augment, improve, and bring delight and art into people’s lives. These explorers of the Recently Possible are all recent graduates from, and current research residents at, the Interactive Telecommunications Program – a two year graduate program at Tisch School of Art. itp.nyu.edu
  • Neurime, Michael Rosen and Eszter Osvald.Neurime is an adaptive large scale instrument inspired by neural networks. The instrument exhibits 12 discrete audio channels embedded in a modular wall. Each of these 12 neurons are represented by individual pitches that are activated when touched. The longer the touch, the longer the pitch is sustained. As a system, the instrument learns each neural connection. A neural connection is established when two or more nodes are activated simultaneously. Their relationship is permanently indexed, including hierarchy of strength through the connection’s distance. While these relationships will never disappear, they may weaken over time.
  • Universal Mobile Interface, Eric Ayotte, Derrick Barnicoat, and Jenna Weber Ori.Enjoy origami classes during the day and at night interact with an origami based sculptural installation which incorporates an algorithm based projection. This piece uses live camera feeds run though artist made software that changes in accordance with the interactivity of the viewer and the surrounding landscape.
Special Events:
  • Flex is Kings Live – Flex is Kings LIVE is a rare chance to experience the excitement and power of the underground street dance culture of “Flex”. Flex is an East Brooklyn born dance movement made up of many unique styles. This will mark their first public stage performance with Juillard Faculty Jerome Begin and Electro-Cellist Chrissy Lancaster of Tranimal backing them with their quirky eccentric blend of beats bleeps and strings.
  • Molten Iron Spectacular, Sculptors Guild.The Sculptors Guild and guest artists create artwork with molten iron and conduct an “iron pour” right on the streets of DUMBO. This amazing spectacle promotes and encourages making contemporary sculpture a relevant part of the cultural experience. Foundry practice continues to be prevalent in contemporary sculpture and the public can get a small glimpse of this rarely viewed activity. sculptorsguild.org
  • Monster Drawing Rally, Dumbo Arts Center.The Monster Drawing Rally is a unique event that invites the public to witness what is usually a private creative process. Over the course of the weekend, nearly 100 artists will be drawing at DAC, live and on the spot, with the works up for sale to benefit DAC. Plus, visitors can take part and draw on the very walls of the gallery! For the seasoned art patron, the Drawing Rally provides a fresh look at favorite artists and a chance to discover new talents. While the entire mystery of art making and inspiration will never be fully understood, this event reveals the work, inspirations and magic that go into art.