After a few solid months of pre-production and production work, Our Future Now’s 2008 campaign has been received as a great success, engaging tens of thousands of people across the nation. Focusing most of our efforts at Rothbury Music and Arts Festival in Michigan and Mile High Music and Arts Festival in Denver, Colorado, OFN was able to redefine artistic engagement and education at these popular events.
At Rothbury, the Our Future Now team worked in numerous areas of the festivals. The backdrop of Sherwood Court Stage was designed and built by OFN artist, Shrine, who used a variety of materials that were entirely reclaimed or recycled from various refuse yards. Shrine has the incredible ability to transform something that is considered trash into a thing of true beauty. Thousands of people witnessed this stage in particular and probably had no idea that it was made out of common household trash! Highlights included the Thievery Corporations set, where thousands of people danced into the wee hours of the morning.
The Tasseograph Teahouse, another installation that Shrine had a hand in building, also graced the mainstage field. Originally built for Burning Man, the Teahouse made various appearences at numerous festivals in 2007, namely Lollapalooza, Horning’s Hideout and the String Cheese Incident‘s 4 night run at Red Rocks Amphitheater. The Tasseograph Teahouse is another testiment to the potential beauty of common trash.
Directly behind the Tasseograph Teahouse was an installation affectionately dubbed “NOW”, a nexus that showcased creative arts and crafting. Inside NOW, participants could screenprint their own shirts, learn how to make handmade paper, get busy with a sewing machine to beautify their own clothing and also make art out of some of the cardboard OFN recycled from Rothbury.
NOW also featured our good friends the IAMU and their collection of visionary art. Thousands of participants wandered through NOW throughout the course of the festival to get their hands dirty and be artists themselves.
Perhaps the most talked about installation at Rothbury was the 3d Stroboscopic Zoetrope, Homouroboros. Designed and built by San Francisco artist Peter Hudson, this installation affectionately called “the monkeys” captivated the audience each time they walked through the entrance to Rothbury.
Surrounding the monkeys were a series of three gateways designed and built by artist Carey Thompson and Our Future Now. These Stargates were a monument that indirectly asked people to alter their perception as they walked through.
Other artistic highlights at Rothbury involving Our Future Now included our fiscal sponsor Conscious Alliance‘s bid to break the world record at the art of “canstruction”. Using only cans of food donated by their sponsor Whole Foods, a team of architects and artists built a 3d rendition of a hand reaching out to recieve a can of food. Conscious Alliance was indeed successful in enetering their bid into the Guinness Book of World Records!
Many Rothbury attendees were absolutely blown away by the efforts that went into making Rothbury a new form of immersive art experience. The addition of installation art certainly makes events like this memorable in different ways besides people simply enjoying their favorite bands. From the earth scultptures in Sherwood forest to the recycled chopper in the mainstage field, there were countless opportunities to be captivated by a piece of art, making participants take another look at their environment.
Rothbury was indeed a big chapter in the story of Our Future Now and we are extremely grateful to all the people that participated in our involvment in Rothbury. We look forward to seeing you all very soon!