Greetings From Detroit, It’s Dlectric!
Greetings from Detroit, It’s Dlectric!
After three years of being inactive, Dlectricity; an interactive multidisciplinary arts festival returned to Detroit. Dlectricity presents work of international, emerging, and local Detroit based artists. Light, technology, installation, 3D, performance, and video works were on view this past weekend at the two day festival. While based off of the Nuit Blanche festivals from around the world, Dlectricity is special and specific to Detroit because of its inspiration from the city’s old Electric Park. Dlectricity originated in 2012, with 75,000 people in attendance. In 2014 the festival had 150,000 people in attendance.
The festival highlights its many sponsors which are local and Michigan based businesses such as DTE Energy, Shinola Detroit, Clark Hill, Detroit Renewable Energy. And in the case of the Detroit Institute for the Arts and Wayne State University, brought the audience to the sponsors’ front door and interior. The festival aims to bring art and community together to view and experience art in a different manner. And Dlectricity did just that! Large audience members filled churches, galleries, and storefronts to gaze and enjoy various performances, videos, sculptures, and installations by international artists such as Rashaad Newsome and Pope L. While additionally enjoying performances by emerging artists Sebastian Duncan-Portuondo, Angela Eastman, Maxime Robillard. Each piece at the festival had different goals. Some provided enjoyment. While others showcased local pride for a city growing and recovering from financial troubles. And some pieces challenged the audience intellectually. The festival provided a place for community and engagement with the arts, Dlectricity also provided a platform for local businesses in the Woodward Corridor area of Detroit.
As an audience member and participant at the festival, I enjoyed the large communal sense Dlectricity created. Beyond the sense of community there was an underlying question of “how do you want to see the world?” The artists and audience answered that question during their participation of Dlectricity.
Having been gone for three years due to construction in the Woodward Corridor area, Dlectricity is a great example of what happens when an arts initiative, a city, and businesses come together to provide a fun, safe, and intellectually challenging night for its community.