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Lights, Camera...WORK!by Emily Rippe
Mark Moffett considers himself an idea man.
Whether it's reviving the annual King Wamba Carnival Parade (at the Old West End Festival), exhibiting his art cars in shows across the country, starting a women's roller derby team in Toledo, or breathing life into a debilitated building in Midtown Detroit, Moffett has found a way to make things happen.
That's pretty incredible, considering that he has been living in Boulder, Colorado for the past year.
"I'm an artist that's working on 'two coasts,'" Moffett explained. "I might be living in a high-tech area now, but I've never lost my industrial Midwest aesthetic."
Rewind a few years back, when Moffett was exploring the streets of Detroit with an idea forming in the back of his mind. The Grand River Corridor caught his eye with all of its now vacant shoe stores, pizza parlors and barber shops, many of the buildings beyond the point of repair. It saddened and inspired him at the same time: the fate of Middle Class America.
"I looked at these buildings and tried to imagine them in their hey day," he said.
Moffett set off on a search for grants around Detroit to see what he could do. That's when he stumbled upon DLECTRICITY, a two-night event that includes art, light and sound to transform another section of Detroit, the Woodward Cultural District.
Back "home" in Toledo, Moffett immediately contacted TiMe To Productions (Tim Ide, Megan Bremer and Toby Grytafey) and Busted Backstage Productions (Paul Malak), and began to produce an installation that would go "over the top." The collaboration impressed DLECTRICITY organizers, and "WORK" was one of the 25 projects chosen through the open call for entries. More than 200 proposals from emerging and established artists, lighting designers, and architects were submitted. Additionally, ten local and international artists specializing in light and technology projects were invited to participate in Detroit's first "Nuit Blanche" event.
"WORK" incorporates video projection, performance and sound to transform the currently vacant Woodward & Canfield Building at 4265 Woodward Avenue into a vibrant living structure. The installation represents an expression of the past, present and future of Detroit and its role in contemporary American culture.
DLECTRICITY runs throughout Midtown Detroit's Woodward Cultural District on October 5th and 6th. For more information and a complete list of installations and events, visit www.dlectricity.com.
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