September 23, 2018 - Philadelphia Contemporary - Announcing the line-up for the Festival for the People
September 23, 2018

Philadelphia Contemporary

Hito Steyerl, How Not to Be Seen: A Fucking Didactic Educational .MOV File, 2013.

Announcing the line-up for the Festival for the People
A public art festival celebrating the many facets of cultural production
October 13–28, 2018

Kickoff Lecture: October 7, 5pm, with Hito Steyerl, RSVP required
Moore College of Art & Design, Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia Contemporary, in partnership with the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC), is proud to announce its latest public project, the Festival for the People. Spread across two central piers on the Delaware River waterfront, the festival will feature a dynamic set of participatory programs and events, sculptures, installations, videos, and banners over three weekends, from October 13-28, 2018.

The Festival for the People includes participants Michel AuderAndrea BowersBread FaceBrewerytown BeatsCece PokesCreosEmory DouglasEl Sol Latino NewspaperFirst Person Artsjean-jacques GabrielColette GaiterOcean GaoDoreen GarnerInvisible Man TattooSedakial GebremedhinErlin GeffrardGlitter SlimesMarissa Johnson-ValenzuelaHiwa K.Autumn KonopkaJasmine Morrell: Spirited Tattooing CoalitionJennifer LevonianLily Whispers ASMRWarren LongmireMaider LópezLove JawnsLyrispectJazz Attack SwingsMalidelphiaMilkcrate CafeTrapeta MaysonSanyu NicolasYoshua OkónPeople’s Paper Co-opPhilly TypewriterRobert PruittCindi RukaFrank Sherlock, Hito SteyerlDamian and Sarah TangoAryanna TischlerJacob WintersteinTintin Wulia, and Ulises, with selections from Creative Time’s Pledges of Allegiance (Tania BrugueraAlex Da CorteJeremy DellerLaToya Ruby FrazierMarilyn MinterJayson MussonYoko OnoTrevor Paglen, and Rirkrit Tiravanija).

The festival celebrates 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 will be the kickoff event in the newly opened Cherry Street Pier, a former municipal shipping pier transformed into a public destination and a hub for Philadelphia’s creative community. Funding for the Festival for the People has been generously provided by the William Penn Foundation.

In keeping with Philadelphia Contemporary’s mission, the Festival for the People aims 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 are invited to enjoy two 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 will also feature numerous other installations, including a collaboration with Philly Typewriter, specially commissioned banners celebrating Philadelphia’s neighborhoods by Erlin Geffrard, short films by artists including Andrea Bowers, Michel Auder, 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.

“The Festival for the People is exactly what it sounds like: a festival celebrating the art forms of everyday people. In these fractured political times, it’s important to remember what brings us together as well as to reflect on the forces that divide us,” says Philadelphia Contemporary Artistic Director Nato Thompson.

Presented in collaboration with the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC), the festival will extend from the Race Street Pier to the newly opened Cherry Street Pier. In addition to a range of works and installations throughout the duration of the festival, each weekend will have additional programming tied to a thematic focus, celebrating today’s 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.

Schedule of Events

October 7
Kickoff Lecture with Hito Steyerl

Acclaimed German artist and filmmaker Hito Steyerl will give a kickoff lecture on Sunday, October 7 at 5 pm on digital culture and new media at Moore College of Art & Design. RSVP here.

October 13-14
The People’s Analog Weekend

The analog weekend will feature a Festival of Analog Technology and printed materials, from comics to artist zines, vinyl, antiques, and art-making stations including comics by Robert Pruitt, artwork by Sedakial Gebremedhin, and artist books from Ulises.

October 20-21
The People’s Embodied Weekend

The body and dance weekend will feature participatory dance performances and an opportunity for visitors to share their tattoos and body art.

October 27-28
The People’s Digital Culture Weekend

Digital culture weekend will feature the Oddly Satisfying Film Festival, an ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) Film Festival featuring film submissions by local teenagers, highlighting an immensely popular branch of YouTube culture.

Full schedule of events available here.

About Philadelphia Contemporary
Founded in 2016, Philadelphia Contemporary presents visual art, performance art, and spoken word across the city of Philadelphia. A nomadic contemporary art organization with ambitions to establish a freestanding, globally oriented and locally aware museum, Philadelphia Contemporary has pioneered a vibrant and sustainable model based on partnerships and collaborations. Having commenced pop-up programming in October 2016, Philadelphia Contemporary continues to develop an ambitious roster of projects that will be mounted in the coming years, while planning for a permanent home in a new building.

Press Inquiries
Ed Winstead, Director, Cultural Counsel, ed [​at​]

Philadelphia Contemporary
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