Thursday, September 15, 2011

UFOs on the Cuyahoga: Ingenuity Fest 2011

If you see a flying saucer near the Detroit-Superior Bridge this weekend, don’t be alarmed. That’s just part of the Squonk Opera, the hallmark piece of Ingenuity Fest 2011.

“The Squonk is sort of a modern opera which will be performed outdoors,” says director of programming James Krouse. “There’s going to be a UFO that looks like it’s crashed into the side of the viaduct.”

Ingenuity, founded in 2004, has hopped around the city from East Fourth Street to PlayhouseSquare. Last year, it found its newest home, the lower level of the Detroit-Superior Bridge.

“When you say the word ‘festival’ to people, a lot of times they think of a street fair: some tents, food and booze,” says Krouse. “But at Ingenuity Fest I think our ambition is much more along the lines of something like SXSW in Austin, Texas." Krouse hopes Ingenuity, like SXSW, will become a cultural exposition well-known outside its home city.

Kicking off tomorrow evening and wrapping up Sunday night, Ingenuity Fest celebrates art and technology with interactive exhibitions, performances and demonstrations. Onlookers can react and respond to different pieces via text and navigate through a maze using only their ears.

“Art and science are not two separate things,” says Krouse. “They’re this one continuum. We show that in a couple of different ways.”

Some of the performances literally tie art and science together. Krouse recommends Erica Mott's "The Victory Project," a dance of sorts. “She integrates technology into her movements. She’s actually tethered to a sound operator, so her motions actually produce sound.”

With more than 20 hours of programming, including more than 110 scheduled musical acts, where does one begin?

“There’s a lot to take in.” Krouse says, laughing. “I would pick out one or two things that really grab your attention, particularly if it’s a performance. Pick out those few things you want to do, but also give yourself the time to wander a bit. That’s part of the pleasure of being here.”


vbasic said...

When I saw the UFO on the WKYC Morning Show and the hilarious take they did, I said I have to go see it. So I went to the festival, and totally enjoyed the fest. Except....I couldn't find the saucer. Soooo on Sunday, I went back and found out that the UFO display was totally gone. Like something out of X-Files. ARRR! I think the festival went out of their way to make it a mystery. Too much of a mystery. Try googling the display and you can't find it. There are no youtube or images or blogs on it. Almost like it was 'real' and the Feds had to remove it. Anyway, one more day couldn't have hurt. Last years, 'ball of twine' was their almost a month.
Interesting concept, but I think they took it too far as vapor art.

xlpharmacy reviews said...

I've been reading articles about UFOs and they say that the best fest it's the Ingenuity Fest. I would like to attend to one of these fest.