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Festival for

the People

PROJECT DATES & LOCATION

October 13-28, 2018

With programming on Saturdays & Sundays

Cherry Street Pier

121 N Christopher Columbus Boulevard

Philadelphia, PA 19106

Pier Hours

Sunday-Thursday: 11:00am-10:00pm

Friday-Saturday: 11:00am-11:00pm

INSTALLATIONS

October 13-28, 2018

Interactive Sculptural Installations

In collaboration with Creos, CS Design, & Raw Design


Typewriter Poetry

With Philly Typewriter

Banners for the People

By Erlin Geffrard

VIDEO INSTALLATIONS

October 13-28, 2018

The Course of Empire

By Michel Auder

#sweetjane

By Andrew Bowers

Do You Remember What You Are Burning?

By Hiwa K.

Oracle

By Yoshua Okón

Xylophone

By Jennifer Levonian

Football Field

By Maider López

Proposal for a film:

Within The Leaves, A Sight Of The Forest

By Tintin Wulia

Pledges of Allegience

By multiple artists

PARTNERS

Delaware River Waterfront Corporation

Cherry Street Pier

FUNDERS

William Penn Foundation​

PARTICIPANTS

Michel Auder

Andrea Bowers

Bread Face

Brewerytown Beats

Cece Pokes

Creos

Emory Douglas

El Sol Latino Newspaper

First Person Arts

jean-jacques Gabriel

Colette Gaiter

Ocean Gao

Doreen Garner: Invisible Man Tattoo

Sedakial Gebremedhin

Erlin Geffrard

Glitter Slimes

Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela

Hiwa K.

ImmorTality (Tajmah Linder)

Autumn Konopka

Jasmine Morrell: Spirited Tattooing Coalition

Jennifer Levonian

Lily Whispers ASMR

Warren Longmire

Maider López

Lyrispect

Jazz Attack Swings

Malidelphia

Milkcrate Cafe

Trapeta Mayson

Sanyu Nicolas

Yoshua Okón

People’s Paper Co-op

Philly Typewriter

Robert Pruitt

Tabita Rezaire

Cindi Ruka

Second State Press

Frank Sherlock

Hito Steyerl

Damian and Sarah Tango

Aryanna Tischler

Two Squares Forward

Jacob Winterstein

Tintin Wulia

INTERDISCIPLINARY

Presented by Philadelphia Contemporary in partnership with the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation

 

Spread across Race Street Pier and the newly opened Cherry Street Pier, Festival for the People featured three weekends of dynamic participatory programs and events, sculptures, installations, videos, and banners from October 13 – 28. The festival celebrated the rich subcultural forms across Philadelphia, from comics to tattoos to internet culture, while also offering a fun and critical perspective on populism.

Festival for the People aimed to expand the public conception of what contemporary art is and can be with installations and programming across a range of mediums and subjects. Visitors played with interactive sculpture installations brought to Philadelphia in collaboration with the Montreal-based group Creos: Impulse, an installation of seesaws designed by CS Design and Lateral Office, and Prismatica, a group of colorful spinning prisms by Raw Design. The Festival also featured a collaboration with Philly Typewriter, specially commissioned banners celebrating Philadelphia’s neighborhoods by Erlin Geffrard, short films by artists including Andrea Bowers, Yoshua Okón, Hiwa K, Jennifer Levonian, and Maider López,  an installation of selections from Pledges of Allegiance, an artist-designed flag series originally commissioned by the public art nonprofit Creative Time, and talks by artistic luminaries such as Hito Steyerl and Emory Douglas.

In addition to a range of works and installations throughout the duration of the festival, each weekend had additional programming tied to a thematic focus, celebrating popular analog, digital, and embodied cultures with fairs, talks, installations, screenings, and other programming, created in collaboration with arts and community groups from across Philadelphia and beyond.

"

THE FESTIVAL FOR THE PEOPLE IS EXACTLY WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE: A FESTIVAL CELEBRATING THE ART FORMS OF EVERYDAY PEOPLE.

- Nato Thompson, Sueyun & Gene Locks Artistic Director

"

CURATORIAL STATEMENT

The Festival for the People offers a place of play and civic conviviality. Under this elegant re-designed waterfront pier, the public of Philadelphia can gather together to share in a form of public intimacy, expression and wonder. You can type messages on typewriters, you can play on illuminated seesaws, you can sit on couches and enjoy short films, you can meet artists from across the city, and you can simply relax. This festival, in a sense, offers a sanctuary.

The Festival for the People offers a big tent for a myriad of forms of culture making from tattoos to origami to swing dance to performance art to on-line sensory videos. In providing a space for many cultures to express and present themselves we are deliberately pointing toward the magic of cultural expression nascent happening in this vast network of neighborhoods. Culture, rather than being some elite enterprise, is the language we currently express ourselves in. Rather than retreat into remote internet corners, we hope to bring these different forms of expression together to demonstrate and enrich the tapestry of the arts in all their forms and constituencies.

This wide embrace of populism is done with the overarching politics of populism very much in mind. We do not come together as a method of escape. We do not intend to put our heads in the sand to the mediated voices on television and the news that shout that we are a nation divided. Instead, we acknowledge that as great as it is to embrace the will of the people, we recognize that there exists a populist power of people united by fear. Rather than react directly, we put forward a set of populist values that demonstrate difference, complexity, subtlety, political nuance and childlike wonder. We resist through play and discussion under a big roof.

launch event

As the kickoff lecture for Philadelphia Contemporary's upcoming program Festival for the People, acclaimed German artist and filmmaker Hito Steyerl will speak on themes from her wide-ranging practice, which interrogates issues ranging from surveillance to contemporary protest to the power of the poor-quality video image.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER 

Hito Steyerl is a filmmaker and writer who, often through documentary photography and video, thinks through media circulation. Her work, which examines issues such as globalization, feminism, and postcolonial critique, comprises film, essays, and installations. She has lectured at Goldsmith’s College, London and the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, among other institutions. A collection of her essays is recently published in The Wretched of the Screen(2012). Recent exhibitions include: Hito Steyerl, Factory of the Sun, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 2016; Hito Steyerl, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 2014; Hito Steyerl, e-flux, New York, 2011; and focus: Hito Steyerl, The Art Institute Chicago, 2012−2013. Steyerl lives and works in Berlin.

closing party

Music for the people! We’re teaming up with Little Giant Creative to close out Festival for the People with a party featuring live performances by Naeem (formerly Spank Rock), Dave P., and Oluwafemi.

weekend events

OCTOBER 13-14: THE PEOPLE'S ANALOG CULTURE WEEKEND

Festival of Analog Technology & Printed Material

October 13-14, 2019

1:00-7:00pm

Cherry Street Pier

121 N Christopher Columbus Boulevard

Philadelphia, PA 19106

Featuring workshops by Sedakial Gebremedhin and Second State Press, artist books from Ulises, records and DJ sets by Milkcrate Cafe and Brewerytown Beats, and more vendors like El Sol Latino Newspaper, ImmorTality (Tajmah Linder) and People’s Paper Co-op.

FEATURED EVENTS

In Conversation: Emory Douglas & Colette Gaiter

October 14, 2019

5:00pm

A dialogue on Sunday, October 14 between Colette Gaiter, Professor at the University of Delaware’s Department of Art and Design, and Emory Douglas, Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party, and the art director and designer of the movement’s newspaper, The Black Panther.

OCTOBER 20-21: THE PEOPLE'S EMBODIED CULTURE WEEKEND

Tattoo & Body Art Fair

October 20, 2019

1:00-7:00pm

Cherry Street Pier

121 N Christopher Columbus Boulevard

Philadelphia, PA 19106

Live tattooing featuring women and gender non-conforming tattoo artists, as well as opportunities for visitors to receive temporary and Henna tattoos by Cindi Ruka. The fair also included a story slam in partnership with First Person Arts. Artists include: Jasmine Morrell of Spirited Tattooing Coalition, Cece Pokes, Ocean Gao, Sanyu Nicolas, Doreen Garner of Invisible Man Tattoo, and Aryanna Tischler.

FEATURED EVENTS

First Person Arts Story Slam: Tattoo Edition

October 20, 2019

5:00pm

Day of Movement

October 21, 2019

1:00-7:00pm

Cherry Street Pier

121 N Christopher Columbus Boulevard

Philadelphia, PA 19106

Featured warm-up yoga and poetry session Verse and Vinyasa, with jean-jacques Gabriel and Lyrispect as well as social dancing with local performers.

FEATURED EVENTS

Verse & Vinyasa with jean-jacques Gabriel and Lyrispect*

October 21, 2019

1:00pm

*BYO yoga mat!

Malidelphia: African Drums & Dancing

October 21, 2019

3:00pm

Featuring Ira Bond (Malidelphia, West African Style)


Social Dancing: Lindy Hop & Blues
October 21, 2019

4:00pm

With Jazz Attack Swings

Social Dancing: Tango

October 21, 2019

5:00pm

With Damian and Sarah Tango

OCTOBER 27-28: THE PEOPLE'S DIGITAL CULTURE WEEKEND

Oddly Satisfying Film Festival

October 27-28, 2019

1:00-7:00pm

Cherry Street Pier

121 N Christopher Columbus Boulevard

Philadelphia, PA 19106

A two-day ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) Film Festival that featured film submissions by local teenagers and performances by ASMR stars.

FEATURED EVENTS

ASMR Open Call Video Screenings
October 27-28, 2019

11:00am-11:00pm

ASMR Open Call Award Ceremony & Live Performances
October 27, 2019

2:00pm

Featuring Bread Face @breadfaceblog, Glitter Slimes @glitter.slimes, & Lily Whispers ASMR @lilywhispersasmr

Slime Workshop with The Free Library of Philadelphia
October 28, 2019

1:00-3:00pm

Philadelphia Contemporary is thankful to our partners. Support for Festival for the People was provided by the William Penn Foundation.