Janelle Monae performs at the 2015 Day for Night. (Photo Matthew Ramirez)
The Barbara Jordan Post Office is the site for Day for Night 2016. (Photo swamplot.com)
New Order performs at Day for Night in 2015. (Photo Jay Tovar)
Day for Night's 2015 curatorial team included Stephanie Land, Bronwin Lauder, Alex Czetwertynski, Keira Alexandra, and Marini van Smirren. (Photo Matthew Ramirez)
Day For Night served up a curated selection of esteemed musical talents — Philip Glass to New Order — matched by light-based artworks curated by Manhattan creative entity Work-Order, led by Alex Czetwertynski. Festival mastermind Omar Afra and wife, Andrea, contemplate Casey Reas / Thom Rugo's hypnotic generative sight/sound collage. (Photo Matthew Ramirez)
Nonotak returns in 2016. (Photo Matthew Ramirez)
Let the anticipation begin: The blind pre-sale for the second year of Free Press Houston‘s Day for Night fest (which takes place on December 17 and 18) begins 24 hours from now, at 10 am on Tuesday.
Promising to be bigger, better, and more diverse, the second year of Day For Night — dubbed a “two day experiential music and art festival” — has moved venues to the historic Barbara Jordan Post Office at 401 Franklin, about five minutes away from last year’s space at Silver Street Studios. The site, designed in 1962 by Wilson, Morris, Crain & Anderson, the same architectural firm that created the Astrodome, will house three stages of musical acts and a wide variety of burgeoning local and international artists and immersive art experiences. (The decommissioned post office, now owned by Lovett Commercial, developer of Sawyer Yards, is calling the 16-acre property — expected to be configured as mixed use — Central Post. Day for Night will be the first event at the post office campus, which was acquired by Lovett in 2015.)
Last year brought memorable headlining performances from New Order (who played their first Houston show in decades) and Kendrick Lamar, as well as Janelle Monae, Nicolas Jaar, and the American master Philip Glass. While the lineup remains a secret, the best way to secure your tickets for whoever is coming to town is the blind pre-sale, while prices are at their lowest.
The festival’s art component promises to be every bit the match of the musical headliners. Brooklyn-based curator Alex Czetwertynski, whose forte is new media on an international scale, told PaperCity via email: “The 2016 roster will continue Day For Night’s exploration of light-based, computational, interactive, digital and technology driven art.” The curator/tech guru expects about 15 artists. He also made once big artist announcement: “We can say that since Nonotak‘s installation was such a resounding success, we are happy to have them back this year for something special.” (Nonotak, the Paris-based duo, specializes in new-media experiences around the world, and have even put on a big show for the Tate Britain‘s after-hours Late at Tate series.)
“What was very interesting about last year is that we saw a deep engagement from the audience,” said Czetwertynski, who is a bit of a rock star himself in the realm of bit-form produced art. “People stayed in front of installations for a long time, really took them in, and it felt like there was often a sense of surprise and discovery, which hopefully lead to a curiosity towards this field of work and a desire to explore it further.”
The curator also said that Day for Night and its art component has global ambitions: “There are several festivals across the world that combine music and arts, but what differentiates Day For Night very clearly is the combination of big headliners — that attract a wide audience — with artwork spread across a large campus, fully interwoven in the festival experience . We believe the arts component is not just an add-on to a music experience; they are billed as equivalent, and that means a lot when that equivalence is made with names like Kendrick Lamar, New Order, or Philip Glass.
Additional reporting by Catherine D. Anspon