– By Charles LaCalle –
Free music. Free art. Twenty thousand hipsters. A crisp fall weekend. All these made for the success of the second annual Creator’s Project. Billed as a “new kind of arts channel for a new kind of world,” the Project aims to build a network of creators in design, art, and technology.
Big names came out to show their work and interact with fledgling creators. Spike Jonze premiered his new short film Scenes from the Suburbs, a tale of high school friends growing apart over a summer in a militarized suburban landscape. The pathos of the film was heightened by film’s soundtrack from Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs album. Songs about fleeting youth are especially poignant in the midst of a festival where interactive exhibits aim to bring the bearers of youth culture together in one place.
The highlight of the festival was Florence and the Machine’s mesmerizing performance in the archway under the Manhattan Bridge. The acoustics of the venue were surprisingly fantastic, given that the bridge was built in 1912. The area was packed and the crowd riveted as Florence debuted three new songs from her album, belting out, “This is the first proper show we’ve played for the new songs.” Fans could hear the hum of the subway on the bridge as Florence’s powerful voice burst off the massive pillars, and the projects on the top of the tunnel finalized the otherworldly theatricality of the event.
The climax of the festival came as the French electro band Justice played a short set in the 19th century tobacco warehouse near Origins, the LED structure by United Visual Artists. An epileptic’s worst nightmare came to life as electro-house music converged with fast bursts of LED lighting (not to mention the jarring number of camera phones snapping photos). But the denouement for the raucous crowd came too soon as the cops shut down the stage and cut short the set, bringing to a close the counter-culture carnival all too soon.
Charles LaCalle is a freelance event reporter & ghost writer based in New York. He currently works for a tech start-up called TheCultivate.com and for a luxury brand consulting firm.