Fantasia 2014: part art exhibition, part concert, all interactive crazy aquarium experience

Colin Ward and Stefan Herrera are the co-organizers of Fantasia 2014.
Fantasia 2014 is billing itself -- at least on Facebook, anyway -- as a "performance festival." But it's not a big, multi-stage summertime throwdown for thousands. Fantasia 2014 is an intimate experience, one that co-curators Colin Ward and Stefan Herrera hope will draw people to fest location Rhinoceropolis, especially those who have never been to the DIY space. It's an opportunity for newcomers to mix and mingle with the built-in audience that has been a part of the art and music created there for close to a decade.

Fantasia 2014 spreads over two days, opening June 6 with a free evening featuring interactive installations, participatory performance-art pieces and a whole lot of exploration. In the month leading up to the event, Rhinoceropolis was transformed -- its rooms and outdoor spaces have morphed into multi-level, color- and light-saturated sculpture gardens and installations from local and national artists.

"Fantasia events are about, well, rather than taking some art and displaying it in a white cube, like a gallery, it's about taking the whole space and painting in the subconscious vision and imagination that would be in an art piece -- but painting that directly into the space," explains Ward. "It's kind of like an alternate diorama -- it's kind of like being in a life-sized diorama."

Ward reveals that the visual theme for this year's Fantasia 2014 environment is a "laser-tag arena/coral reef/planetarium/aquarium sort of feel." Rhinoceropolis's facelift for the occasion will, like many installation events and shows that have happened over the years, become a part of what the venue/home will look like long after the show is over. Remnants of the creative work will always physically remain, which Ward says is just part of what happens when a space is allowed to be turned into art that operates as a home for other art.

A massive white tarp will angle down from the roof into the back yard, creating a tilted canvas onto which video-manipulation duo VidKidz will project changing art. The front room will house a viewing area where a collection of clips created by local artists and curated by Herrera will run continuously throughout the weekend.

Chris Bagley -- who recently shot a video for Wheelchair Sports Camp and who, along with MasterMind Kim Shively, made the Wesley Willis's Joyrides documentary -- will have an interactive video installation where viewers can be filmed and their silhouettes trailed by rainbows.

Mark Sink and Kristen Hatgi Sink will also be doing audience-welcome participatory work and Chelsea Bashford will be running a prop-heavy photo shoot with anyone who wants to get in front of her camera. And that's just some of what is slated for the first night.

More on the music featured is on the next page.

Location Info



3553 Brighton Blvd., Denver, CO

Category: Music

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