Event Spotlight: Art Outside 2009, A 3-day Festival of Radical Self-Expression
We’re pretty damn lucky to live in Austin, where artistic talent abounds us and exists at the core of everything we love about this place. Austin is a a mecca of exceptional but often under-exposed talent; it allures creative people and and inspires them to thrive. At Do512 we try to do our part to spread the word about events that reflect the diversity and creativity of Austin’s many talented artists. In three years of Do512′ existence, one event stands out above all others as perhaps the perfect embodiment of community and artistic diversity. Do512 is proud to sponsor Art Outside 2009, quite possibly the most the he most unique, ambitious and compelling event we have ever been supported.
Art Outside 2009 is a three-day celebration of radical self-expression, a spectacle of bizarre and extraordinary artists, installations, performers, designers, musicians and films from around the country. From October 9-11, hundreds of artists will build a temporary community of fire, light, and sound at Apache Pass–a sprawling, privately-owned ranch on the banks of the San Gabriel river in Rockdale, TX . To get a feel for the experience, check out a video of Art Outside 2008:
Now in its 6th year, Art Outside has evolved dramatically from its roots as an unofficial SXSW party at the Enchanted Forest. When festival founder Tyler Hanson moved to Portland earlier in the year, he passed the torch to current producer Warren McKinney, local artist and founder of Art Seen Alliance. This year Warren and his crack team community of volunteers have invested significantly more energy (and money) into what promises to be a biggest and best AO to date. We got a chance to sit down with festival organizers Warren McKinney and Sarah Johnston (performance coordinator and dancer/aerialist “Agent Red“). I’ll be including bits of those conversations throughout this post.
This year Art Outside has been forced to find a new home, as sadly the Enchanted Forest was shut down by the city’s Fun Police dude to code violations. However the expansive Apache Pass offers a huge opportunity for growth and a completely new experience, including camping and around-the-clock sensory stimulation in a beautiful Hill Country setting. Festival Organizers Warren McKinney and Sarah Johnston on moving to Apache Pass (pardon the poor production, a Flip camera is the the best we could do).:
Art Outside bears an undeniable resemblance to Burning Man , a temporary Art City built in the Nevada desert for the past 19 years. Organizers say that although there is a clear connection with the Burning Man community (roughly half of the Art Outside participants are “Burners”), there are a few key differences that make Art Outside more accessible :1) It’s only 64 miles from Austin, and close to Dallas and Houston 2) it has basic infrastructure like roads, stages, drinking water, and RV hook-ups, 4) it’s much cheaper (just $50 for a 3-day pass including camping) and 4) it’s a family-friendly environment (meaning less naked people and mind-altering substances).
On the connection between Art Outside and Burning Man:
There are far too many extraordinary artists to cover in this one post, so we will be rolling out weekly Artist Spotlights over the coming weeks. In the meantime here are a few noteworthy highlights:
Jimmy Kuehnle is a visual and performance artist who creates massive, inflatable sculptures that he actually wears as he wanders through the crowd. His work has been featured in has received critical acclaim in magazines, newspapers and television. Recently PrimeEights Design made a short film about his work. Youtube
Reggie Watts Winner of the 2006 Andy Kauffman Award and the 2005 Malcom Hardee Award, Reggie Watts is a 1-man comedy/musical show who’s only instruments are his voice, a mike, and a loop box. The music incorporates comedy with hip-hop and other musical styles, and no two songs are ever the same. Reggie has produced numerous broadband original series’ for Comedy Central.com, and recently appeared on NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Youtube
Arc Attack. Creators of the original Singing Tesla Coils, the crew of ArcAttack uses their high tech wizardry to create an experience of electricity and sound. Two custom engineered hand built Tesla Coils throw out electrical arcs up to twelve feet long, each one acting as an instrument with a sound reminiscent of the early days of the synthesizer. Youtube
Elevate Film Festival: Since launching in December 2005, Elevate Film Festival became “the largest single screen film festival in the world,” hosting up to 6000 people per screening, and was named one of the top 25 festivals world-wide by Moviemaker Magazine. Filmmakers from around the globe are given an assignment to create short films, documentaries, music videos or commercials from start to completion in just seven days.
The Art of Such and Such: This collaborative experiment seeks to create an art space that breaks the boundaries between Artist and Participant. The Art of Such and Such is a dazzling variety show that blends carnival-like side shows, flaming midway games, comedy, theatrics, interactive installations, and lots of fire.
Here Warren and Sarah talks about some of the acts they are looking forward to:
Warren McKinney is clearly not in this for the money. He recognizes that big talent and production expenses, along with low ticket prices and lack of any corporate sponsorship, means he’ll likely lose money this year. But he and his team see Art Outside as a greater mission, an investment in the future of the event and the arts community as a whole in Austin: “I moved here specifically to get involved with the Austin arts scene, so that I can raise my two young children in a creative environment, around creative people. Our goals at Art Seen Alliance has never been completely clear…we just know we’re always looking for different avenues to help participate in the community and promote art.”
Please support this amazing festival and help it grow and prosper. Mark your calendars, tell your friends, and buy a ticket.
NOTE: Pre-Sale tickets available NOW! Ticket prices will increase starting September 21st.
3-day passes, including camping: $50.00
Single Day Passes: $29.00
Children 12 and under are free
RV Passes: $75.00
Check out the complete lineup and details at ArtOutside.org.
“Like” Art Outside on Do512 for a chance to win one of three free pairs of to win free tickets.