TIO Denver: Innovative Motion-Based Public Art Featured Friday

TIO Denver: Innovative Motion-Based Public Art Featured Friday

FFNo5_Image2Friday evening, September 20, The Denver Theatre District and Denver Digerati conclude one of the most innovative and unique summer art programs with the highly anticipated Friday Flash No.5.
Friday Flash No.5  unveils motion-based artworks commissioned for the public LED screen located at 14th and Champa. This year, the program commissioned seven artists to create unique works that will become part of the DTD’s permanent collection, the first of its kind in the United States –  a vital and exciting download enhancing the nature of public art in general.
LED screen architecture and technology is advancing at a rapid pace, with screens found in a variety of public settings, almost exclusively for commercial purposes. Through the process of commissioning artists for works specific to screens in the Denver Theatre District, Denver Digerati emphasizes the potential of these screens as vehicles for presenting dynamic art content, while showcasing leading advances in motion-based art and animation by regional and international artists. This sustainable presentation model reflects the innovative transformations occurring in art, propelled by rapid advances in technology and the public’s demand for broader visual literacy.
The concept of building a new library of digital media by commissioning artists was a natural extension of the district’s previous successful showcases such as 2011’s “Frame of Mind” and 2012’s feature-length “SightLine,” programs that tapped deeply into uncharted territory in the public sphere. As a result, the slogan, The Future of Public Art is NOW!, was adopted at the start of this year’s summer Friday Flash series, based on the high-level content and the impact the concept had yielded to date.
Each of the summer’s previous four Friday Flash programs has expanded the network of artists locally and internationally. All of them eagerly participated and embraced the model for the innovative approach towards public engagement with art that it is. The website denverdigerati.com now serves as a permanent, robust archive for anyone interested in reviewing past programs and finding out about upcoming events.
Below is a short documentary of viewers “On the Street” from Friday Flash No 1 presented May 24th, 2013:
Friday Flash No. 5 concludes 2013’s ambitious agenda. Again, seven artists were selected in the first quarter of the year to initiate the new commission program, including Chris Coleman (Denver, CO), Bryan Leister (Denver, CO), Quintin Gonzalez (Denver, CO), Justin Beard (Denver, CO), Alex McLeod (Toronto, Canada), Jonathan Monaghan (Washington, DC) and Milton Croissant III (Baltimore, MD), who are all making dynamic strides in the field of motion-based art.
These artists also supported the DTD’s initial efforts within the LED context, by allowing their works to be screened in both signature long-form programs as well as in a test capacity in order to understand the unique dynamics of the screens and public context.
The seven were featured in this year’s summer group exhibition “Mirage,” hosted at Denver’s PLUS Gallery in June. The show offered a more in-depth understanding of their work, stature within the art world, and the diverse characteristics of their careers to date. Four of the seven artists in the show are based in Denver, the fifth having recently left the community after a long-term engagement in the local art scene.  In the end, the curatorial effort became a celebration of the local talent pool.

For Friday Flash No. 5, artists were each given a monetary stipend and five months to create new works. They had full creative authority over the content with one caveat: their output had to be suitable for public consumption.

Artists were largely selected based on their understanding and use of digital technology. Works could range in length from two to ten minute. They had to communicate without benefit of a soundtrack –  though the initial presentation for Friday Flash happens to feature sound.

The nexus of visual technology and art is quickly breeding new and exciting constructs which merge inherent artistic abilities with innovative tools not yet common either in the studio or in traditional exhibition venues. The truth is advanced approaches to animation through digital means are still considered in their infancy in the art world, though mainstream filmmakers and gaming industries have used similar technology to help realize enormous profits. And the new visual languages fashioned by artists who have embraced these technologies has resulted in some of the most visually stimulating, thoughtfully conceived work being created in the world today.

Where is such work to be found? On the Internet and a field of small-screens used by the public everyday throughout the world – yet its potential is only fully realized using even more dynamic context that only now is being brought forward through large-scale LED screens in the public realm.

The following is a rundown of special events occurring on Friday Flash No.5, making for a daylong celebration of Denver Digerati’s unique efforts:

3 p.m.: DU’s Emergent Digital Practices program hosts a forum with Denver Digerati and six of the artists commissioned to create original works for the public within the unique infrastructure of the Denver Theatre Districts LED screens in Downtown Denver.  The forum centers around the ways technology is transforming animation and motion-based art, the artists individual responses to the task of the commissions, and how these works could transform traditional notions of public art. The roundtable takes place at 2121 East Asbury Ave in the C-cubed Studios (top floor of the Shwayder Art Building, DU Campus).

6:30 p.m.: Friday Flash No. 5 is the highly anticipated conclusion of the unique summer series that brings advances in motion-based art and animation to the public in the extraordinary context of the massive LED screen at 14th and Champa in downtown Denver. New, never-before-seen works by seven artists from Denver, Washington DC, Baltimore, and Toronto will be unveiled.

Watch this promotional spot for the program.


 8 p.m.: A celebration after the conclusion of Denver Digerati’s Friday Flash Series, 2013 takes place at PLUS Gallery, 25th and Larimer Street in the River North Art District.  The evening  features visuals presented by Denver Digerati Curators, music by Thug Entrancer (via Brooklyn’s Software Label) and very special Guests Alex Mcleod from Toronto, who is visiting Denver all week in conjunction with DU’s Emerging Digital Practices department.

Milton Croissant III from Baltimore and the cream of Denver’s current contemporary talent pool  – Chris Coleman, Justin Beard, Quintin Gonzalez and Bryan Leister– are also on hand.  There will be wine from Infinite Monkey Theorem and Beer from River North Brewery, both located within the exciting RiNo arts district.

For more information visit http://denverdigerati.com

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