2011 Dumbo Arts Festival

Light installation on the Manhattan Bridge

I am still for the most part a newcomer when it comes to the majority of things in NYC, so the fact that I have gone to the Dumbo Arts Festival three years in a row now makes it an unparalleled tradition in my arts activities. (Read here about 2009 and 2010.)

I left behind my real camera, so apologies for the rather mediocre quality of the iPhone photos. I still haven’t quite figured out this smart phone thing. Anyway, I was really impressed with this iteration of the annual festival. I only made it to the opening night, but the galleries holding openings and the installations already populating the blocks of the Brooklyn waterfront were all strong. Here are some highlights:

Under the Manhattan Bridge was the Dumpster Project, a largescale curiosity cabinet of sorts. The artist, Mac Premo, had carefully arranged a multitude of his possessions as a visual chronology of his life.

I can’t find this artist’s name, but I found this collection of dead birds carved from wood to be interesting, and also sort of touching in their sadness.


SoundStage by Brett Murphy was an innovative use of Reactable‘s open source technology, which allows different sounds to play together through their physical position and shapes. But in SoundStage, instead of just shapes, each sound connected to a three-dimensional object, whether it was a helicopter, dog, or violin. The artist said that he’d used it as a storytelling device with kids. What story is happening above?

Showpaper box

Powerhouse Party

Over at Powerhouse Books, they were having a party for Suburbia!, a book and exhibit about suburban youth movements. Angsty! And there was beer in cans.

Outside on one of the warehouses, you could send a text that would be projected for all to see. I think I wrote something about ghosts, you know how I am.

video_dumbo had a great exhibit of video installations, illuminating a huge space with interactive pieces and intriguing visuals.

Manhattan Bridge

So there is your quick tour of opening night at the Dumbo Arts Festival! If you want the complete experience, you can now go eat tacos and have a couple of margaritas.

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