CAMP Detroit Joshua Hanford/Red Bull Media House North America, Inc.

As Movement grows, the level of community outreach follows suit. The stages may house the entertainment, but the atmosphere is the audience -- a community of patrons swarming onto Hart Plaza for three days of electronic bliss.

Sometimes, wandering the festival grounds without a sense of direction can breed the best experiences. The smell of carnie food floating through the air, the waves of anonymous faces sweeping past you, the sensation that the next live set you witness could be life changing. It makes one wonder if the artistic experience is the richest of all. If you ask the organizers of Movement 2011, they’ll tell you it is and that this time around, it’ll be a tough experience to miss.

null Joshua Hanford/Red Bull Media House North America, Inc.

Artistic Minds Coming Together

Paxahau (the local production team behind Movement) and the Community Arts Moving Project (charmingly abbreviated under the acronym CAMP Detroit) are seeing to it. For the past for years, Movement has “subtly” weaved community art projects onto the festival grounds.

This year, the subtly is lost to great effect. Instead of a few artists, CAMP Detroit has enlisted a six-pack of artistic minds and given them a budget of $1,000 each. To top it off, the artists work side-by-side in a workspace at the Russell Industrial Center, a juggernaut of a neglected factory turned into an artist’s wonderland in the heart of Detroit.

CAMP Detroit has enlisted a six-pack of artistic minds and given them a budget of $1,000 each.

The result is work that jumps from medium to medium, regarding “complex and involved electronics” and interactivity as the only principles to follow. Some artists are recent graduate students while others are graphic designers, engineers and architects.

Such a cocktail of vision and attributes ended up producing work like the “Intelligent Node Park,” an interactive light ‘em up installation that needs a handful of hands to function properly by Jake Chidester, Richard Chase and Alisyn Malek. Or “Wild Aesthetic,” an inflatable installation shrouded in mystery by Sean Hages. “Janus Tunnel,” by Dan Roberts and Erin Sweeny, requires the Movement patron to pass through it to be fully understood.

“We wanted to build a structure that incorporated re-purposed materials,” says Sweeny, a Seattle native who moved to Detroit for graduate school a few years ago. “The conceptual idea was based around [Roman god] Janus who had two faces -- one looking forward, one looking backward.”

null Joshua Hanford/Red Bull Media House North America, Inc.

To Sweeny and Roberts, it was an apt commentary on Detroit and its current state of affairs. From one perspective, the city still struggles from decade-old ailments long deemed unfixable. However, to another set of eyes, a city supposedly filled with “damaged goods” leaves an endless sea of opportunities for growth and change.

“Coming to Detroit, I had no idea what to expect,” says Roberts. “You’re disoriented at first, but eventually, it opens up and you find all these hidden gems.”

Each of the six gems built by these local artists will be on full display at Movement 2011. For more information, visit campdetroit.tumblr.com

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