One of the most magical events in the region is DLectricity. Having gone to two previous events, it’s a time where you see the streets chock-full of people and feel the creative energy that’s all around you.
The free event happens every two years and is centered in the cultural district around Woodward between Kirby and Canfield. Buildings are used as canvasses and there are also free-standing exhibitions.
If you didn’t know, it’s this weekend – Friday, September 22 and Saturday, September 23. Let’s dive in.
1. The Light Bike Parade
Starting when it gets dark on Friday, the Light Bike Parade is fanciful little ride around Midtown. You can participate and add some lights to your bike, or sit back and enjoy the show. Anyone who has done a Slow Roll or rolled with one of the many independent bike groups knows that Detroit has quite a special bicycling culture, and it’s generally more about shining lights and musical sounds than spandex outfits. Here’s the event link if you want to be in it.
2. The Carnival Love Wall
All you need is love, right? This installation by Kelley Bellis made up of individual elements that all work together to make something amazing. Per the description: “Taken singly, each element’s motions are simplistic and repetitive. But when joined by many others and contained within an architectural form, they are much greater than their constituent parts, creating a monumental, dynamic, and playful mosaic of motion and color.” You’ll be able to find it at Warren and John R.
3. The Librarian
Nothing is cooler than seeing the entire Detroit Public Library on Woodward as a light show. It’s. Awesome. And this year, there’s going to be an epic battle of a woman against distorted facts, orchestrated by the Klip Collective.
4. Star Tours
Live action fantasy laser sword fighting. I don’t need to say more, do I? Do I? Nope, didn’t think so. On the lawn at the corner of Warren and Woodward.
5. Animal Land
This just looks cool. Lauren Strohacker and Kendra Sollars have re-imagined traditional wildlife encounters through light. Above the Rite-Aid on Woodward.
6. Every Side Of Here
This one should make you feel something. Per the description, “Every Side of Here” uses light, audio, and movement to evoke a variety of sacred experiences. The audience is invited to join in creating a participatory mural that explores diverse ideas about “the sacred.” Performances run for 30 minutes and recur on the half hour mark of each hour throughout the night, starting at 7:30 p.m. First Congregational Church, Forest and Woodward.
7. Speramus Meliora, Resurget Cineribus
This one by Academy Award nominated filmmaker Gary Schwartz in collaboration with the Hannan House tells Detroit stories through magic lantern shadow puppeteers, using shadows created one frame at a time. Also, an animation projection studio will be installed in the Ellen Kayrod Gallery, inside the Hannan House, for the public to “play.” Warren & Hancock.
8. Neon Repoetry
At the N’Namdi Gallery is a neat exhibit that takes neon out of its original context to make poetry – think thoughts from those random word magnets people have on fridges but way more electricity and a ton of creativity from artist Jeffry Chiplis. Forest between Woodward and John R.
9. See All The Seasons
Orbit (pictured above at the St. Louis Contemporary Art Museum) highlights the passage of time through a stunning display. Ours will be at the Michigan Science Center at Woodward and
10. Architectural Space Intervention
This one is its own level of crazy. According to description, visitors entering the space get tracked by infrared depth cameras. The bodies are transformed into contours projected as white lines together with the architecture. It also takes sound into account. It’s at the Mike Kelley Mobile Homestead at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Woodward between Garfield and Canfield.
Also, don’t forget to download your DLectricity map! There’s much more when it comes to projects and installations to check out. I’ll see you out there this weekend.