Losing Yourself at The Creators Project


    Well, this was cool. “Cool,” being quite an understatement for what could very well become the best party of the year for good ol’ New York. The hype surrounding this event grew to a fever pitch over the weeks leading up to the arts creativity/culture and media festival; not only because of the absolutely ri-dic-ulous music roster, but also due to some of the breath-taking, avant-garde “creator” installations put on display for all those lucky enough to get free tickets via the RSVP to see.

    We are going to refrain on commenting on VICE Magazine’s seemingly lack of care for the press (kicking the media out of the media room, lack of press pits for photographers and only letting five to 10 into the single press pit there actually was); why? Because, VICE and Intel should be applauded, no, lauded, for the overwhelming success of this event. When one considers the sheer rarity that an event of this stature is held, not to mention for free, it is astounding to realize the expertise and precision with which this event this event was pulled off, and the classy atmosphere it achieved in doing so.

    As a writer, it is my sincerest displeasure to inform you, the reader, that this event was difficult to cover. This was truly a 48-hour festival, that transpired within 12 hours. You will not see every show or installation here, and at that, the low lighting made photography less than easy. However, that’s what this culmination of creativity and media was about: the experience, not the press. As The Creators Project’s website now reads, the event was “truly one for the ages.”


    While there was an overwhelming amount of ingenuity involved in every last one of the Creator installations, there were some definitive crowd favorites.

    First, there was Radical Friend’s The Digital Flesh. Comprised of a cone-shaped vault, or as creators Kirby McClure and Julia Grigorian described it, a “digital temple,” where attendees were invited into the temple by two clean cut males straight out of the Matrix, where they were seated and then three-dimensionally scanned, and their resulting Radiohead-“Reckoner”-esque 3-D renders projected on the surrounding walls. The exhibit will travel to all five creators projects, combining all renders into a “digital entity”, the manifestation of which will be revealed at the final Creators Project in Beijing.

    The definitive adored establishment was Muti Randolph’s Cube. Composed of 9,600 animated light spheres that alternated between reacting to visitors’ movements and synchronizing to sound effects, the… you guessed it, cube-shaped exhibit was truly a breath-taking, trip-inducing experience that can only be understand or comprehended via experience; the pictures and video do not do it justice.

    Of course, this event would have been close-to nothing without its musical roster. The esteemed live acts were what drew out the throngs of hipsters. With a roster choc-full of New York-based acts, as well as a slew of exploding groups from other continents, the Creators Project proved to be a momentous occasion for more than myself. And rightfully so: see below.


    The Rapture
    6:00 p.m.

    Luke Jenner and his (slightly rebuffed) indie-dance crew gave the crowd at Milk Studios the funky pre-game they needed to the night’s coming festivities. Blazing through a cowbell-induced set that touched on their newer work from Pieces of the People We Love (carrying a crushing “Whoo! Alright – Yeah…Uh Huh”), right down to all their reveling hits from 2003’s Echoes, including “Open Up Your Heart”, “I Need Your Love”, “Echoes”, and yes, of course, the artsy “House of Jealous Lovers”. Jenner could be spotted throughout the day wandering the various exhibits with his main-squeeze and offspring, shaking hands with various attendees.

    10:00 p.m.

    Perhaps the most established act on the bill, the indie shadow-rock crew (also with refurbished lineup) drew a crowd that surpassed the loading-dock gates of Milk on 14th Street. A fair amount of New Yorkers gathered on the sidewalk across the street, to watch the bass-throbbing, post-punk group, not to mention packing out the actual loading dock itself to the boundaries. The group powered through almost every song that could be asked of them in their 45 minute set, including flagship tunes from all three albums, as well two new songs, which are expected to appear on the trio’s fourthcoming self-titled album. While there was some frustration from fans watching online (due to a lack of stream-ability), the NYC-based fivesome bombarded the crowd (at this point, good ‘n’ liquored up…free drinks!) with their snare-heavy sound, and fat bass tones.

    11:30 p.m.

    While Interpol was assuredly the most established act, it was undoubtedly British-Sri Lankan turned American (is that possible?) baile funk rapper M.I.A. who held the “most anticipated” trophy for the whole ordeal, with the ante being upped by the fact that her performance was originally supposed to be a surprise, only to be circumvented by an announcement by a certain online music news source. The only words which can be used to describe her live performance, are the likes of “epic,” “jaw dropping,” and “mesmerizing.” All of these virtues only served to be amplified when Sleigh Bells and Die Antwoord joined her crew onstage, and even moreso when her crew began passing out shots of liquor to those [un]lucky enough to be [crammed] front row and center.


    She joined the stage to the uproarious new single “Born Free”, and legitimately had the building shaking as she played through her staggering catalogue of staccato hit “Galang”, after tribal-dance “Boyz”, and into club banger “Bamboo Banga”. After a seemingly drug-induced, teasing intro, she launched into the time-epitomizing tune that made her famous(hint: has something to do with papyrus and airliners). M.I.A. is back, and it’s apparent that even squabbles with press-powerhouse The New York Times can’t do anything to stop her…especially not in New York; this concert will mark the first of two NYC performances, the second being at HARD FEST NYC in a little over a month.

    This was indeed, very cool.

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