Basically, what Aurora — the popular, free, one-night-only festival in Dallas’ Arts District — does every two years is transport one of those ‘white night,’ son-et-lumiere shows that European cities have been staging for years over here to the Arts District. Which is one reason a notable contingent of Aurora’s artists have been European visitors — mixed in, of course, among the locals and the American out-of-towners.
For instance, this year, Dark Matters, the Copenhagen-based, digital-projection-and-video-installation-and-concert-light-show outfit (above), will be using the work of the late sociolinguistic professor Jens Norman Jorgensen to create a piece called “Blackout” — about the perception of light and illusions. And that’s very much in Aurora’s now-characteristic, crowd-wowing mix of sound, video, light, digital and performance works.
This year, Aurora has partnered with the AT&T Performing Arts Center, to present 80 artists — chosen by the festival’s founders, Shane Pennington and Josh King, along with six curators and four guest curators. The festival on Oct. 16 will be centered around, well, the Performing Arts Center — aka “Section Four,” as it’ll be known for the “Aurora experience.”
In fact, the Brooklyn artist collective 3_Search will return this year with another one of those eye-popping, building-sized, video projections on the side of the Wyly Theatre. Last time — in what was the high point of the entire evening — they used the theater’s blueprints to make the building look as though it were being skinned and deconstructed.
Local groups and artists participating in Aurora include Art Conspiracy, Danielle Georgiou and Erica Felicella. But the press release does not mention input from such Arts District groups/facilities as the Dallas Museum of Art, the Crow Collection, the Nasher Sculpture Center and — the big deal that wasn’t really here two years ago — Klyde Warren Park.
But calls to a couple of these organizations led to the response that events were still “in negotiation.”
The full release:
80 ARTISTS SELECTED FOR AURORA
International, National and Local Stars Tapped to Light Up
the Dallas Arts District on October 16
(DALLAS) Today the founders of Aurora along with the nonprofit AT&T Performing Arts Center announced that 80 artists have been chosen to create art installations across the Dallas Arts District for this year’s Aurora powered by Reliant event on Friday, October 16, 2015. A diverse roster of 28 international and 52 U.S. artists (including 24 from North Texas) will utilize light, sound, video and/or performance in their work, some of which will be displayed on the familiar and iconic structures in the Arts District. The event is free to the public.
“It is remarkable to see our distinctive venues and park transformed by some of the best artists in the world,” says Doug Curtis, the Center’s president and CEO. “2015 promises to be the best year yet for Aurora.”
This year, the Center has formed a partnership with Aurora’s founders to present what is becoming a signature Dallas event that attracts tens of thousands of people. 2015 promises to be particularly notable, thanks to the addition of six curators including the founders and four Guest Curators, working from the common All Together Now theme. Each curator brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in public art exhibitions. In addition, the talented students from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts will curate and exhibit, with the help of professional artists and curators. Leading up to the event, the Center will highlight different sections and the artists working within them.
Section Four, which includes the 10-acre campus of the AT&T Performing Arts Center, will act as the central location for the Aurora experience. Section Four will be curated by Aurora’s founders, artists, Shane Pennington and Josh King. As in years past, venues like the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre and Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House will play a major role in the art presented.
“The quality of the artists is beyond compare, both in our section and throughout the entire experience,” Aurora co-founder and Section Four curator Shane Pennington said. “There are very few opportunities to witness the collective output of this many respected local and international artists, all in one place, bringing their brilliance to the public.”
Artist collective 3_Search will return and again present an exciting new large-scale video mapping projection to illuminate the aluminum exterior of the Wyly Theatre in ways never seen before. The work is titled “Sense/Coalescence” and it will intertwine 3-D visuals that respond to vocalists, singing work created specifically for Aurora that seems to rise from the sides of the distinctive theatre. In a mind-blowing mix of art and science, Jens Jørgensen and Dark Matters of Copenhagen will allow participants to see light in a new way, literally, working from brain research that determines how our eyes perceive light and changing the transmission method to create entirely new illusions.
Numerous local organizational groups will also participate in Section Four of the Aurora experience, including the grassroots awareness and funding arts collective Art Conspiracy, which will create a camera projection into a pyramid and Bike Friendly Cedars, which will organize a mass-lighted bike ride through the arts district during Aurora. Individual artists from North Texas will also be prominently featured, like Danielle Georgiou, whose dance troupe has performed as part of the Center’s Elevator Project.
Other Sections include the works of notable artists including Memo Atken, Undervolt, Rhonda Weppler, James Geurts, Jitish Kallat, Janeil Englestad, Bettina Poutsttchi, James Clar, Egill Sæbjörnsson, Cynthia Mulcahy, among a dynamic list of artists representing multiple media.
A VIP Experience ticket is available for purchase, which includes all-night access to three exclusive VIP lounges located throughout Aurora, private bars, food by Wolfgang Puck, themed décor, plus admission to a special Aurora afterparty. Tickets for the VIP Experience and afterparty are available at www.attpac.org/auroravip
ABOUT THE CURATORS AND ARTISTS IN SECTION FOUR
• Shane Pennington, Dallas, TX
• Josh King, Dallas, TX
• Art Conspiracy (Rick Fontenot, Mike Arreaga, Jonathan Rudak, Tramaine Townsend and Erica Felicella). Piece Title “Alternate Views”
• Bike Friendly Cedars, Dallas, Texas. “Aurora Ciclovia”
• Danielle Georgiou, Dallas, Texas. Piece Title: “Social Studies and Other To/Dos”
• Erica Felicella, Dallas, Texas. Piece Title: “Moving To Together”
• Francine Thirteen, Dallas, Texas. Piece Title: “4 Marys and The King” (Photo)
• Jim Lively, Dallas, Texas. Piece Title: “4,827 Mornings”
• Liss LaFleur, Dallas, Texas. Piece Title: “You Belong to Me”
• 3_Search (John Ensor Parker, Leo Kuelbs, and Glowing Bulbs), Brooklyn, New York and Budapest, Hungary. Piece Title: “Sense/Coalescence”
• John Dombroski, Austin, Texas. Piece Title: “Broadcast”
• Tom Harman, Flordia, Piece Title: “Project Dali”
• Fabiano Mixo, Berlin, Germany. Piece Title: “Women with Mandoline”
• Jens Normann Jørgensen and Dark Matters, Copenhagen, Denmark. Piece Title: “Blackout”
• Jevan Chowdhury, London, England. Piece Title: “Moving Cities”
• Scenocosme (Gregory Lasserre & Anais met den Ancxt), St Etienne, France. Piece: Urban Lights Contacts
Both immersive and engaging, Aurora is a platform for intersecting the local community with national and international artists in a way that is both compelling and personal.
For one night, every two years, downtown Dallas is transformed into an open-air, urban playground of new media art: light, video, sound, performance, and projection on an unprecedented scale. The immersive exhibition showcases work by a confluence of local and international artists, selected by a team of established curators. Visitors are offered the unparalleled opportunity to see their familiar urban environment converted into an interactive site for some of the world’s most innovative contemporary art. Aurora’s aim is to liberate art from space and disciplinary confines, involving the general public and the international arts community in an inclusive and larger cultural conversation about artistic experience.
Aurora is the brainchild of artist Shane Pennington, spearheaded with co-founder and artist Joshua King, and co-founder Veletta Forsythe Lill. Aurora is presented by AT&T Performing Arts Center, and supported by Presenting Sponsor Energy provider Reliant and their returning Founding Media Partner The Dallas Morning News. Additional significant sponsors and donors are being added and will be announced in the near future.