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Dlectricity Light Festival Seeks Artists for September 2020

Posted by Midtown Detroit Inc. ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Dlectricity Light Festival Seeks Artists for September 2020



For three electrifying weekends in 2012, 2014, and 2017, Dlectricity brought thousands of people into Midtown Detroit to experience 40 luminous projects by local, national, and international artists. This ambitious nighttime festival is back again with an expanded footprint, September 25-26, 2020, to transform Detroit with site-specific installations of light, video, performance, sound, interactive engineering, and nonconformist architecture. From lasers and 3D mapping to dance performances and large-scale video projections, we want to see what you create. We challenge you to animate historic buildings, activate the streets, generate engagement—the cityscape is your canvas. Now is the chance to show Detroit—and the world—what you can do!

BUDGET:  up to $5,000 ($1,000 honorarium and up to $4,000 in production support)

ELIGIBILITY: Professional artists

DEADLINE: March 3, 2020

Info session: Saturday, February 8, 2020, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD). This event will be live streamed.

Project Description

Dlectricity will present a wide range of outdoor installations, performances and activities. We are looking for contemporary art projects that transcend traditional understanding of public art to transform the Woodward Corridor into a spectacular nighttime landscape. These temporary, site-specific artworks can include:

  • Light installations
  • Video art
  • 3D video mapping projections
  • Multimedia installations
  • Interactive and community engaging technology
  • Artificial intelligence and robotics
  • Works that utilize mobile platforms (smartphone, tablets)
  • Performance (art, dance, theatre, music)
  • Talks and workshops
  • Kid-friendly and/or educational experiences
  • Creative and/or interactive marketing experiences for the festival
  • The unexpected

Up to 25 site-specific, outdoor projects will be selected through the Open Call for Entry process by the DLECTRICITY™ Curatorial Committee. The Curatorial Committee, selected by Midtown Detroit, Inc. and the founders of Art Detroit Now (an organization representing over 90 contemporary arts venues in metro Detroit), will select projects and performances based on a number of criteria, including artistic merit and how well it uses various media relating to light and other technologies (videos, smartphones, lasers, robots) within an urban environment.

Project Requirements

  • Your project uses light as a medium and/or as a part of the overall design and concept and is suitable for OUTDOOR, nighttime presentation. There are limited opportunities for displaying indoors.
  • There are no geographical restrictions for the open call; we are looking for artists locally as much as we are internationally. However, we cannot assist participating artists with their travel costs outside of the $4000 budget limit. Travel costs may be a line item in your budget, or you may use your $1000 honorarium, or your own funds, towards travel if you so choose.
  • You agree to create an OUTDOOR, site-specific project and/or performance located in a public space. DLECTRICITY™ will take place OUTSIDE along Midtown’s Woodward Corridor and will also include installations at DTE Beacon Park, an expansive 1.2 acres green space located on the western edge of downtown Detroit.
  • Access to the projects included in DLECTRICITY™ must be available to the public, free of charge.
  • All projects will remain displayed for the entirety of the event, from Friday, September 25, through Saturday, September 26, 7pm – 12am each day.
  • You are willing to make the commitment required in order to bring the project to fruition, and have the capability to complete the project with a team you have assembled, if needed.
  • Your project expenses will not exceed the allocated production budget of $4000, including all supplies and all other production-related expenses. DLECTRICITY™ will not be able to support projects exceeding the scale and scope of the allocated production budget. Any budgets that exceed $4000 are your responsibility to cover. You may use the additional artist honorarium of $1000 towards your project’s expenses, or provide funds through additional fundraising or personal means if you so choose.
  • Insurance coverage may be required, to be determined in consultation with the City of Detroit.

Selection Criteria

  • DURABILITY AND ACCESSIBILITY: As an outdoor public arts event, DLECTRICITY™ will host a diverse and often large audience. Does your proposal explain how your project can accommodate thousands of visitors?
  • ARTISTIC MERIT: We are interested in projects that are bold and that will have impact during nighttime hours. We are also interested in projects that engage in a dynamic conversation between site, audience, and context. Remember that Midtown’s urban environment is your canvas—make good use of it.
  • COST: The cost of executing your project will be considered in relation to the artistic merit, impact, and value of other projects considered.
  • EDUCATIONAL VALUE: Please explain how your project is meant to have educational value, if appropriate.
  • FEASIBILITY: Your project will be judged on your ability to execute it at the time of submission. We will be considering the time it will take to execute your project, whether your project can be executed for the amount budgeted, the ability of your project to withstand severe weather conditions, and if your project can handle physical interaction with a large audience (if applicable).
  • INTERACTIVITY: Does your project interact physically or virtually with visitors? Is the interactivity integral to the concept of the project? Can your project handle interaction with thousands of visitors continuously for at least 8 hours?
  • LOCATION: We strongly suggest you describe the ideal OUTDOOR environment for your project. It can be a specific location or a description of a setting that will suit the needs of your project. Tell us why that kind of location is appropriate (i.e. the location is dark, quiet, visible from afar, etc.) Do you require a large open space? A blank wall? A detailed building facade? If you are familiar with the Woodward Corridor of Midtown Detroit and wish to suggest specific locations, please list more than one potential location for your project. Locations directly on Woodward Avenue are strongly preferred over locations on side streets. We will use your information to find the best location for your project within the event footprint. Please note that our Curatorial Committee, production team and MDI, Inc. will make the final decision about your project’s location based on curatorial and technical assessments, and the cooperation of property owners.
  • TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION: The technology used in your project should be relevant to the ideas and/or necessary for its presentation. The DLECTRICITY™ team will be available to guide artists in their use of technology. Additionally, an information session on the event’s core technology will take place on Saturday, February 8 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. A livestream will also take place.

What to Submit

  1. Application form:  Available only through the Slideroom application.
  2. Four images, videos, or audio examples of the work you are submitting. Ideally, you should submit an artist rendering or mock-up of your project, and/or drawings with dimensions sufficient to describe your project. 3D images of the installation are desirable, as are images of similar projects you have already completed. If you have an online portfolio of your past work, it is strongly suggested you include a link in your application. Images must be in JPG or PDF format, at a maximum resolution of 300 dpi. You may include more than one image in a file. All video must be in MOV, MPEG, WMV or AVI format only. All audio must be in MP3 or WAV format only. All work samples must be named following the model:
    [Number]_[artist/group name]_[title of work].jpg  For example: 01_ArtistName_TitleofWork.jpg

How to Submit

Apply through Midtown Detroit’s Slideroom account.

QUESTIONS? Contact the DLECTRICITY™ Curatorial + Production Team at info@DLECTRICITY.COM or 313.420.6000.


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