Creators Project SF eliminates the boundaries of art, music, technology

Disclaimer: I feel that I am playing INTO THE SYSTEM by even writing this post… the whole #creators phenom is a fantastic product placement marketing scheme for Intel and Vice, aligning their brands with a particularly desirable demographic (presumably affluent, tech-savvy urbanities). Nothing is really free, and by participating in an event like this (and by broadcasting your participation via Twitter, blogs, etc), you are providing advertising gold.

But you know what? They did a damn good job. If they decide to spend big bucks on an event that fosters creativity, innovation, imagination… there are worse values to promote. I appreciated the level of intellectual curiosity present at the Creators Project, the sense of elevated discourse, the   understanding of the immediate, integrated nature of technology in our lives. Rather than separating “new media” as its own unique entity outside of everyday life, the event featured an acutely realistic  perspective on the nature of human interaction in 2012.

James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem/ DFA Records), the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, and Squarepusher were the headliners in the solid line-up, also featuring Shabazz Palaces, the Antlers, the Hundred in the Hands, and Zola Jesus.

Nancy Whang, Patrick Mahoney, and James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem

In 2011 the Creators Project toured to New York, Beijing, London, Paris, Lyon, Sao Paulo and Seoul, and this weekend’s SF exhibit was the first full-blown West Coast festival. The Creator’s Project made its first splash at Coachella 2011 during Arcade Fire’s headlining Saturday set, with director Chris Milk’s interactive piece, “Summer Into Dusk”. I found Arcade Fire’s set undoubtedly one of the highlights of Coachella, an emotive experience that exemplified the collective euphoria that festivals strive to achieve. Take a look at this behind-the-scenes documentary about the preparation of “Summer Into Dusk” on Chris Milk’s site, really fascinating.

This was by far the most polite, mild-mannered free music event I have ever been to. Patient cueing for drinks, clean, well-stocked bathrooms, indoor heat-lamps… what is this! It seemed to  be a fusion of the soft-spoken, negative-space art world with the unabashed psychedelia of Outside Lands, with just a touch of Burning Man whimsy thrown in. By making the Creators Project a free event (with pre-registration RSVP required), it minimized the classism that accompanies most major festivals ($400 Coachella ticket, I’m lookin’ at you).

Now, onto the exhibits! Stand-out piece by far was “Origin,” aka THE CUBE (shown above). This 40 foot by 40 foot aluminum structure entranced festival-goers long into the night… best viewed while laying down inside of the structure, providing full sensory immersion.

Loved “Meditation” by Minha Yang… feel the power!

“Strata #4” by Quayola was a soothing, engaging, fascinating integration of “old-world” and computer-based art.

Still attempting to process “Life on Mars (Revisited)” by David Bowie, Mick Rock, and Barney Clay. Another exhibit viewed while laying down on pillows, highly recommend! (Photo by MTV, as they did not allow photography inside of the exhibit).

The Antlers were one of my favorite sets– dreamy,  atmospheric soundscapes. And that falsetto, whew, spine-tingling! Playing “French Exit” from 2011’s Burst Apart on repeat.
Chris Milk returned with “The Treasury of Sanctuary” — a massive interactive instillation with definite Black Swan vibes.
All in all, a really cool experience, check it out this weekend at Fort Mason if you have the opportunity! Exhibits open to the public until 9 pm Sunday night.
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