Festival for the People

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

Including participants such as 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 PruittTabita RezaireCindi Ruka, Second State Press, Frank Sherlock, Hito Steyerl, Damian and Sarah Tango, Aryanna Tischler, Two Squares Forward, Jacob Winterstein, Tintin Wulia, and Ulises, with selections from Creative Time’s Pledges of Allegiance (Tania Bruguera, Alex Da Corte, Jeremy Deller, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Marilyn Minter, Jayson Musson, Yoko Ono, Trevor Paglen, and Rirkrit Tiravanija).

Visit the image gallery for this project.

Jump to:
+ Installations
+ Weekend Events

Festival for the People at Cherry Street Pier. Photo by David Evan McDowell.

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.

Impulse by CS Design and Lateral Office in collaboration with Creos. Photo by David Evan McDowell.

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. 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,”
— 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:
Hito Steyerl: Festival for the People Kick-off Lecture
Sunday, October 7, 5 PM

Stewart Auditorium, Moore College of Art
1916 Race St, Philadelphia PA, 19103

Part of the Conversations@Moore lecture series.

Open Call: Oddly Satisfying Film Festival
Deadline: [EXTENDED!] Friday, October 19th

Calling all teens! Philadelphia Contemporary is seeking ASMR videos by teens ages 13 –18 years to be featured in the Oddly Satisfying Film Festival during Festival for the People on October 27–28, 2018. This is Philadelphia’s first ever ASMR video competition! A jury of three ASMR stars— Bread Face (@breadfaceblog), Glitter Slimes (@glitter.slimes) + Lily Whispers ASMR (@lilywhispersasmr)—will present awards to outstanding submissions in an award ceremony on Saturday, October 27th and give live performances.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Closing Party
Saturday, October 27, 8–11 PM
Cherry Street Pier

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.

Installations

On View October 13–28
Location Cherry Street Pier

Two interactive sculpture installations 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.

On View October 13–28
Location Cherry Street Pier

Interactive poetry installation inside Cherry Street Pier with Philly Typewriter. Featuring live activations by Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela, Autumn Konopka, Warren Longmire, Trapeta B. Mayson, Frank Sherlock, and Jacob Winterstein

On View October 13–28
Location Cherry Street Pier

Specially commissioned banners celebrating Philadelphia’s neighborhoods will hang from the rafters inside Cherry Street Pier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On View October 13–28
Location Cherry Street Pier

 

 

 

 

On View October 13–28
Location Cherry Street Pier
On View October 13–28
Location Cherry Street Pier
On View October 13–28
Location Cherry Street Pier
On View October 13–28
Location Cherry Street Pier
On View October 13–28
Location Cherry Street Pier
On View October 13–28
Location Cherry Street Pier
On View October 13–28
Location Race Street Pier

 

Weekend Events

October 13 – 14: The People’s Analog Culture Weekend

Photo by David Evan McDowell.


Festival of Analog Technology & Printed Material

Date & Time: October 13 – 14, 1 – 7 PM
Location: Cherry Street Pier

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.

Events & Features:

In Conversation: Emory Douglas & Colette Gaiter
Date & Time:
October 14, 5 PM
Location: Cherry Street Pier

A dialogue on Sunday, October 14 between Colette Gaiter, Associate 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 artist Ocean Gao. Photo by David Evan McDowell.


Tattoo & Body Art Fair

Date & Time: Saturday, October 20, 1 – 7 PM
Location: Cherry Street Pier

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 PokesOcean GaoSanyu NicolasDoreen Garner of Invisible Man Tattoo, and Aryanna Tischler.

Events & Features:

First Person Arts Story Slam: Tattoo Edition
Date & Time: Saturday, October 20, 5 PM
Location: Cherry Street Pier

Malidelphia featuring Ira Bond. Photo by David Evan McDowell.

Day of Movement
Date & Time: Sunday, October 21, 1 – 7 PM
Location: Cherry Street Pier

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

Events & Features:

Verse & Vinyasa with jean-jacques Gabriel and Lyrispect
Date & Time: Sunday, October 21, 1 PM
Location: Cherry Street Pier

BYO Yoga Mat!

Malidelphia: African Drums & Dancing
Date & Time:
 Sunday, October 21, 3 PM
Location: Cherry Street Pier

Featuring Ira Bond (Malidelphia, West African Style).

Social Dancing: Lindy Hop & Blues
Date & Time:
 Sunday, October 21, 4 PM
Location: Cherry Street Pier

With Jazz Attack Swings.

Social Dancing: Tango
Date & Time:
 Sunday, October 21, 5 PM
Location: Cherry Street Pier

With Damian and Sarah Tango.

 

October 27 – 28: The People’s Digital Culture Weekend

ASMR performer Bread Face at the Oddly Satisfying Film Festival. Photo by David Evan McDowell.


Oddly Satisfying Film Festival
Date & Time:
 October 27 – 28, 1 – 7 PM
Location: Cherry Street Pier

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

Events & Features:

ASMR Open Call Video Screenings
Date & Time:
 October 27 – 28, All day (11 AM – 11 PM)
Location: Cherry Street Pier

ASMR Open Call Award Ceremony & Live Performances
Date & Time:
 Saturday, October 27, 2 PM
Location: Cherry Street Pier

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

Slime Workshop with The Free Library of Philadelphia
Date & Time: October 28, 1 – 3 PM
Location: Cherry Street Pier

 

 

 

 

 

 

Philadelphia Contemporary is thankful for our partners:

 

 

Support for Festival for the People has been provided by the William Penn Foundation.