DENVER'S PREMIER ENVIRONMENT
FOR INNOVATIVE MOTION-BASED
ARTISTS AND THEIR WORK

PROGRAM HISTORY


2015

Denver Digerati made significant progress in 2015 towards broadening the depth of our international artist network as well as the public’s engagement with and understanding of our unique initiative. Our programming started with our inaugural “Ten Second Film Festival” in which 10 artists were commissioned to create 10-second works that ran on five of Downtown Denver’s LED screens throughout the month of May and June, in constant rotation with commercial ads that normally dominate the screens. We continued our highly successful Friday Flash series with 45 minute programs taking place in June, July and September. Denver Digerati received great press coverage for the events, and support from the community continued to expand. Our distinct programming found its way to other platforms outside of the LED screens in which they debut, including a major showcase at the Colorado Innovation Network’s prestigious “COIN” Summit, a “best-of” screening at the Firehouse Art Center in Longmont Colorado on November 6th, and two full reels featured at the annual CUTOUT Fest in Querétaro, Mexico in mid November. Our website was given a major overhaul, leading to the current design, and we commissioned four documentaries to coincide with our Friday Flash series, as well as our involvement with the “COIN Summit” in August.


10 SECOND FILM FESTIVAL

Denver Digerati debuted our newest initiative, the “Ten-second Film Festival,” in May of 2015. The concept for a festival style event had been brewing ever since the introduction of the first LED screen in the Denver Theatre District back in 2010. With five LED screens now active within the DTD on a daily basis, Denver Digerati significantly expanded the cause for exposing animation and motion-based art through our developed artists network on all of the screens at once, infiltrating the protocol that controls daily commercial content that currently dominates the screens.

The “Ten-second Film Festival” activated all five of the DTD’s LED screens with artworks by leading artists from around the world. The brief duration is derived by the screen protocol which limits all content to 10-seconds, presented in a rotation that repeats on a quick cycle throughout the day. Commissioning artists for each of the screens was a necessity within the framework of the screen inventory, each specific LED having a different frame ratio, and some with increasingly odd formats that deviate from common filmmaking standards. Denver Digerati has selected nine artists, seven of whom have supported our exciting Friday Flash programs in the past three years, commissioning each to create unique 10-second artworks that entered the screen rotations from May 1st through the end of June. The effort presented a much needed respite from commercial programming that dominates the screens throughout the year, providing a wider opportunity for the public to engage with the creative efforts from our prestigious network of international animators and digital artists.

Artists commissioned for the inaugural 10-second Film Festival in 2015 were Laleh Mehran (Denver, CO), Evan Mann (Denver, CO), Jake Fried (Boston, MA), Sin Young Kim (New York, NY), Max Hattler (Hong Kong), Faiyaz Jafri (Hong Kong), Michael Pelletier (Amsterdam, Netherlands), Barry Whittaker (Toledo, OH) and Milton Croissant III (Brooklyn, NY).


FRIDAY FLASH #9

Denver Digerati continued our distinguished Friday Flash series on June 19th with Friday Flash No.9 - MTVTM, a program curated by Denver Digerati alum Milton Croissant III. MTVTM, or “Music to Video to Music,” explored today’s evolving world of music videos where the sound/music element is inseparable and features some of the most exciting up-and-coming visual artists and musicians of today. The idea behind Friday Flash No.9 had been on the plate for some time, some of the most exciting work in motion-based art continually found in the merger of visual art and sound. Upon previewing Croissant’s recently commissioned music video for Rubik, Denver Digerati decided to hand over to him the curatorial reigns for the project, Croissant’s rapidly evolving career, knowledge in the field and network of artists proving to be the perfect combination for what could be a substantial and unique program. Croissant was one of the first Denver-based artists to be commissioned to create a short animation for SightLine, the precursor to the Friday Flash series in 2012 and testing ground for Digerati’s more fully-defined and ongoing commissioned artwork program. Croissant expressed his talents further as one of the commissioned artists for Friday Flash No.5, the first in a continuing series of all-commissioned, long-form content tailored to the 14th and Champa L.E.D. screen, one of the most significant screens in the DTD’s inventory. Shortly thereafter, Croissant started making significant strides with the merger of his distinct animation sensibilities and sound-art, his 2014 video for Thug Entrancer becoming a major national sensation and key component in that year’s highly successful “MonkeyTown 4” experience in Denver.

The works Croissant selected to screen are largely a showcase for evolving trends in digital art and animation, covering a wide range of styles that embody the visual play that is concurrent with advanced technological tools. The compilation presented local, national and international artists working with musicians such as Holly Herndon, Dan Deacon, Lightning Bolt and others. The full lineup included videos created by artists Akihiko​ Taniguchi (Japan), Lale Westvind ​(NYC), Alan Resnick, Max Eilbacher and Nick Vyssotski (all Baltimore, MD), Nicole Ginelli (Chicago), Colin Ward and Vid Kidz (Colorado) as well as the latest for Rubik from Croissant himself, who now resides in Brooklyn, NY. All of the visual artists have either been commissioned or work with musicians versed in a variety of musical genres.


FRIDAY FLASH #10: MTVTM

Denver Digerati presented “Friday Flash No.10 - Digital Animation NOW” to the public on Friday July 24th in downtown Denver, Colorado on the 14th and Champa Street LED screen. The approximately 45 minute program served as an adjunct to the 2015 Biennial of the Americas, taking the Biennial theme of NOW! and celebrating what is firmly some of the leading artists from around the world who are engaged in digital animation as a form of contemporary art. It was one of Denver Digerati’s most stunning collections to date, further advancing a singular, exciting artist network that has been the cornerstone of Denver Digerati’s curatorial efforts.

This year’s research has led to the discovery of a number of new talents that were featured for the first time in Friday Flash No.10, including exciting international artists such as Claudiamate, Fabrice Le Nezet, V5MT, Baden Pailthorpe, Gregory Bennett, Alfredo Salazar-Caro and Mike Pelletier, who was recently selected as one of Denver Digerati’s 2015 commissioned artists on the strength of his recent works. Hector Llanquin is also featured with two incredible works, in follow up to his debut in last year's FF No6 "Download This" program.

Artist collectives with a more commercial focus, yet achieving the highest artistic standards, include Universal Everything and The Rodina, both exhibiting sensibilities that are truly universal and exciting. Numerous artists are excelling with their work and reputations within the U.S. as well, including Rashaad Newsome, Jonathan Monaghan (a Denver Digerati veteran, no program of this type would be complete without his inclusion), Kim Laughton, Ben Wheele, Nicos Livesey, Barry Whittaker (a 2014 Denver Digerati commissioned artist), and Peter Burr, who many in Denver were introduced to last year via MonkeyTown 4 and previously with Cartune Xprez at Plus Gallery.

With FF No.10 Denver Digerati, for the first time, introduced one of the most unusual veins in digital animation today, drawing top artists from within the “Machinema” and “Second Life” genres that use gaming protocols to develop long-form, narrative works that can border on the absurd as well as the sublime, with SaveMe Oh being one of the best examples and Valentina Rebecca Tremont serving equally as a remarkable entity within the genre. Denver was also represented by the recently discovered animations of Travis Vermilye, an instructor at UCD who uses his incredible skills in digital animation to help society better understand science.


FRIDAY FLASH #11

Denver Digerati presented Friday Flash No.11 - 2015 Commissioned Artworks, the conclusion of the summer Friday Flash series, on Friday September 25th at the 14th and Champa St. L.E.D. screen. For the third year in a row, Denver Digerati commissioned seven artists to create unique motion-based artworks for public display and inclusion in a growing catalogue of visual art, the only one of it’s kind currently in the world. The artists chosen to create new works in 2015 for the program were Faiyaz Jafri (Hong Kong), Mike Pelletier (The Netherlands), Brenna Murphy (Portland, OR), Sin Young Kim (New York, NY), Atomic Elroy (Sacramento, CA), Mario Zoots (Denver, CO) and Impromptu Company (Denver, CO).

Denver Digerati’s “Friday Flash” series commenced in 2013 as an initiative designed to prove the viability of public L.E.D. screens as unique vehicles for contemporary art in today’s burgeoning technology-infused society. The pinnacle of the initiative and the defining sustainable element that roots Denver Digerati’s unique role in an emerging display platform is the annual commission program, an opportunity that provides funding for artists currently operating largely outside of either the commercial private or public art sectors. Denver Digerati’s third set of commissioned artists once again linked artists from Denver's thriving local art scene with the greater global network that has embraced our unique protocol through the development of previous programs in our Friday Flash Series.

After three solid years of development, Denver Digerati has fully realized the value of a network that connects visual artists through like-minded tools and approaches to new aesthetic possibilities advanced through technology as well as the proliferation of visual media through devices. The overriding goal within the program is to “give-back” to the substantial talent that has supported our general programming efforts to date, as well as provide inspiration for those who are just beginning to test the waters in a rapidly evolving, dynamic field. What defined Friday Flash No.11 the most was this cycle of support, made possible only as the program has shown long-term sustainability, with six of the seven artists having previously participated in Friday Flash curatorial programs and all working within their own unique aesthetic range that delivers a broader visual and conceptual impact.

With FF No.10 Denver Digerati, for the first time, introduced one of the most unusual veins in digital animation today, drawing top artists from within the “Machinema” and “Second Life” genres that use gaming protocols to develop long-form, narrative works that can border on the absurd as well as the sublime, with SaveMe Oh being one of the best examples and Valentina Rebecca Tremont serving equally as a remarkable entity within the genre. Denver was also represented by the recently discovered animations of Travis Vermilye, an instructor at UCD who uses his incredible skills in digital animation to help society better understand science.


COIN SUMMIT

After presenting one of our most striking curatorial reels to date, the captivating “Digital Animation NOW!” for our July Friday Flash series, Denver Digerati was asked to support the Colorado Innovation Network’s fourth annual COIN Summit, one of the most prestigious environments in which we could present our work. The COIN Summit is an invitation-only, two-day event comprised of more than 300 executives from higher education, research labs, cross-industry networks and government, all gathered for presentations and discussions centered around innovation in both Colorado and the world at large. Denver Digerati presented samples from four years of programming efforts in the context of the Summit's Innovation Celebration Dinner at the Commons on Champa. The Commons is a unique facility for Denver, acting as a share-space for entrepreneurs as well as a technology forward environment with a variety of screens and systems for displaying moving, static or computer driven content on a large scale for instructional as well as display purposes. Denver Digerati is the perfect fit for the facility as a daily vehicle for showing the next level of art in our digital age, and more so as an all-encompassing setting for visual stimulation for large-scale happenings and events such as the COIN Summit. This year’s emergence of the facility was perfectly in tune with Digerati’s unique history, instigating a vast number of screens in different scales and orientations that require an advanced content library in order to populate properly.

Denver Digerati’s participation in the context of the summit was exemplary, showing that digital art can captivate on the same level as traditional “contemporary art,” and even prove to be equally thought provoking for an age in which the collective consciousness is fixated on screens as vehicles for delivering the content of their daily lives. It was a shining moment amongst many that have developed as our programming has established a singular presence over the last four years. While the root of Denver Digerati’s efforts are geared towards the engagement of animation as a new form of public art for Denver’s public LED screens, there is no denying the expansive nature of our artists work to fill a number of unique niches that continue to grow within both public and private realms. As of this writing, Denver Digerati has been asked to present a full reel of programming at the Firehouse Art Center in Longmont, Colorado, as part of their monthly film-screening series, as well as two full programs, including a best-of compilation of our commissioned artwork, at this year’s CUTOUT Fest in Querétaro, Mexico, the largest celebration of digital animation and art in South America. Viva La Mexico!


LINKS

Westword on 10 Second Film Fest

Westword on Friday Flash #9

Friday Flash #9 Documentary

Friday Flash #10 Documentary

Denver Post on Friday Flash #11

Westword on Friday Flash #11

Coin Summit Documentary

Confluence Denver


2014

Denver Digerati continued to advance the cause and depth of our signature Friday Flash program that utilizes the Denver Theatre District’s LED screen infrastructure in presenting cutting-edge motion-based art to the public. With the infrastructure of the program firmly in place. Denver Digerati presented three Friday Flash programs, culminating once again with the highly successful commissioned artist program. Overall the series probed more deeply and successfully into programming possibilities, ones that strengthened our relationships with local, national and international artists working in the rapidly advancing field of animation and motion arts, as well as a public seeking new and meaningful art experiences.


FRIDAY FLASH #6

Friday Flash No. 6 set the tone with a platform that built on the realm of possibilities inherent with our curatorial protocol in what was dubbed “Download This - Image Anarchism,” presented to the public on June 13th. The premise for the program was based on current theory by leading analysts in tech-based art sectors, including Peter Lunenfeld who proposed within his 2011 text “The Secret War between Downloading and Uploading (MIT Press)” that “Advances in technology allow moving images to break free of their respective media and cross-pollinate device to device.....When movies show up on cell phones, sitcoms are streamed to desktop monitors, motion graphic festivals take place in cinemas, and viral internet videos are ported to massive flat-screen televisions, the idea of ‘medium specificity’ is not so much challenged as destroyed. Notions of ‘appropriate’ scale, run time, and event content are now all up for grabs. The image goes wherever it wants to and is wanted. The image shrinks and expands, from digital video on personal digital assistants to environmentally moving graphics as large as the city blocks they are already blanketing in New York’s Times Square, London’s Piccadilly Circus, and Tokyo’s Ginza.” FF No.6 capitalized on this theory by presenting 20 artworks curated through a process involving online browsing and direct “downloading” of files for consideration within the program. Denver Digerati utilized these theories, exposing some of the most visually astute, wildly creative, universally celebrated (as well as completely unknown) talents from around the globe to the public in a manner that bridges the limitations and impact of personal screens. Artists/groups presented in the program included Jeremy Couillard, Kutay Cengil, dxmiq, Masanobu Hiraoka, Ploomers (Paul Bloomfield), Ithaca Audio, Lauren Pelc McArthur, By Hands, Jules Julien, Kim Laughton, Hector llanquin, Jonathan Monaghan, Fabio Tonetto, Laurent La Torpille, Adam Ferris, Pet Punk, Dvein and Cloaque.


FRIDAY FLASH #7

While FF #6 was heavily dosed in ideas that may not be at the forefront of the general public’s minds, Friday Flash #7 certainly carried forth a more populous, accessible tone. FridayFlash #7: Kid Wonder took place on the evening of July 18th, and again on the morning of July 19th, presenting a healthy docket of short-form animations and digital artworks intended to inspire the imaginations of kids as well as adults. Kid Wonder served as an example of the accessibility and “wonder” inherent in art that is firmly of today yet rooted in artistic traditions.

Artists presented in the program included Mr. Kaplin (England), Joshua Catalano (France), Yum Yum (England), Sin Young Kim (PNSY Studio), Emilia Forstreuter (Germany), Kazantip Republic and SilaSveta (Russia), Johnny Kelly (England), Emmett Feldman / Suryummy (California), Ben Ridgeway (California), Mehdi Louala + Eva Navaux + Gabrielle Locre (France), Ori Toor (Israel), FaceHeads (Russia), Jamie Hoy (England), Aran Quinn / The Mill (New York), M-I-E (England), Kyle Mowat (New York), 2veinte (Argentina), David Pocull (Spain), Philipp Artus (Germany), ZEITGUISED (Germany) and AlfredImageworks (South Korea).


FRIDAY FLASH #8

On Friday September 19th, 2014, the Denver Theatre District and Denver Digerati presented Friday Flash #8. This was the final program and capstone for the 2014 summer series. Friday Flash #8 introduced the newest additions to Denver Digerati's commissioned artwork collection. The artists created works specifically for Denver Theatre District's LED screens in Downtown Denver, and are now part of an ongoing collection, the first of it's kind in the world.

The 2014 commissioned artists included Evan Mann (Denver, CO), Laleh Mehran (Denver, CO), David Fodel (Denver, CO), Jeff Jurich (Denver, CO), Katie Torn (Brooklyn, NY), Jeremy Couillard (Brooklyn, NY) and Barry Whittaker (Toledo, OH). Evan Mann’s commission “Pure Concentricity,” went on to be screened at the 2015 Slamdance Film Festival, receiving major accolades both through that platform as well as on Vimeo where it was selected as a Staff Pick. Both Mehran’s “Dominant Policy” and Barry Whitaker’s “Throwing Things at the Sky to See if They Stick” were screened in different forums outside of the US. Katie Torn and Jeremy Couillard had their first solo exhibitions in the United States last year, both presenting works that inform and reflect their commissioned pieces for Denver Digerati in significant ways.

Beyond our Friday Flash series, Denver Digerati supported two endeavors in 2014 that had crucial impact on the depth of our curatorial efforts to date. The Gallery of Contemporary Art (GOCA) in Colorado Springs, presented the full history of Denver Digerati’s programming for a single evening as part of their “Brilliant” celebration and annual fundraiser, immersing visitors amongst screens cycling curated content and our commissioned artworks throughout the evening, including live sampling of artworks compiled for Friday Flash #6 - Download This. The evening proved to be a major advance in showing how Denver Digerati’s efforts can activate interior environments in a highly impactful manner. In late September, Denver Digerati received our first exposure outside of Colorado, serving as the focal creative element for Students for a Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) fundraiser “A Sensory Celebration” at Artisphere in Arlington, VA. Denver Digerati presented over an hour of our best programming and artist commissions from the last four years, along with additional works that we deemed unsuitable for public consumption, to an enthusiastic crowd in a more formal theatre setting. The result of both of these unique tangents was pure bliss and a greater level of recognition for our unique network than could possibly be realized through our regular programming.


LINKS

Best of Westword 2014

Denver Post Friday Flash series preview 2014

Westword - Friday Flash No.6 2014


2013

FRIDAY FLASH #1

The major focus for 2013's programming was the inauguration of “Friday Flash,” a monthly series of public screenings that took place on the 14th and Champa LED Screen and brought a much wider swath of content to the public, showing a mixture of the diversity and application from within the field of motion-based art. The first Friday Flash was curated by Denver Digrerati curators Ivar Zeile and Ryan Pattie, along with Denver Arts & Venues Tariana Navas-Nievers and took place on May 24th. FF #1 set the tone of the series by presenting a collection of compelling and diverse short form works by national and international artists of note, including Protey Temen (Moscow, Russia), Stephanie Davidson, (Ontario, Canada), Jason Akira Somma (New York, NY), Jake Fried (Boston, MA), Sumit Sijher (California, USA), Diego Lama (Lima, Peru), Atomic Elroy (Sacramento, California) and Faiyaz Jafri (New york, NY).


FRIDAY FLASH #2

FF #2 expanded the context of the series with the interactive spectacle 'crowd>control,' which playfully engaged the public by turning the corner of 14th and champa into a live audio-visual instrument. Denver artists David Fodel and Paco Proanno used the screen in concert with equipment by Artemis Vision and software they developed to create a dynamic system that interactively changed by the movement of on-street viewers and vehicles. Sound and image become entangled with bodies and technology in an artwork that was part game, part instrument and extremely fun while making a forceful statement about surveillance and the state of the world today.


Friday Flash #3

For FF #3, the talents of University of Denver Emergent Digital Practices professor Chris Coleman were engaged as a curator for the evening. Coleman generated 'The World is !Flat,' an outstanding group of short-form animations and motion-based artworks by a collection of female artists who are building a strong presence in the international sphere of digital art.

The program featured Sama Alshaibi, Brianna Lowe, Sara Ludy, Rosa Menkman, Brenna Murphy, Katie Torn, Sabine Gruffat and Angela Washko.


FRIDAY FLASH #4

FF #4 continued to amplify the strengths inherent in Denver’s art community, focusing on RedLine resident artists who have a concentration in motion-based art or have projects that extend into that realm. RedLine is a diverse urban laboratory where art, education and community converge, and one of the most respected artist residency programs in the region. Existing works from Katie Martineau-Caron, Nikki Pike, Donald Fodness (in collaboration with Barry Whittaker and Mike Bernhardt) as well as Bryan Leister and Justin Beard, were presented, along with never before seen works by Katie Watson and Lurke (Laura Shill in collaboration with Burke Miles).


FRIDAY FLASH #5

Friday Flash #5 concluded the 2013 summer series, featuring the unveiling of new, never before seen works by seven artists commissioned by the Denver Theatre District and Denver Digerati for the LED screen at 14th and Champa. The artworks created through the commissions became part of the DTD's permanent collection, the first of its kind in the United States.

Seven artists were selected in the first quarter of the year to initiate the new commission program. Chris Coleman (Denver, CO), Bryan Leister (Denver, CO), Quintin Gonzalez (Denver, CO), Justin Beard (Denver, CO), Alex McLeod (Toronto, Canada), Jonathan Monaghan (Washington, DC) and Milton Croissant III (Baltimore, MD). The seven were featured in 2013’s summer group exhibition “Mirage,” hosted at Denver’s Plus Gallery in June, offering a more in-depth understanding of their work, stature and diverse characteristics of their careers to date.

Denver Digererati hosted an artists roundtable in conjunction with FF #5 through DU's Emergent Digital Practices program with six of the commissioned artists at DU the same day as the unveiling of the commisisoned works. Ivar Zeile and Ryan Pattie moderated a discussion around the topic of how technology is transforming animation and motion-based art, the artists individual responses to the task of the commissions, and how these works might transform traditional notions of public art.


LINKS

Denver Post Friday Flash series report 2013

Westword - LED Alert 2013


2012

SIGHTLINE

Urban Encounters: SightLine was the second curatorial effort led by the Denver Theatre District (DTD). SightLine took place on Friday, May 11th at 8pm, as one of the primary programs occurring that evening during Create Denver Week's 'Urban Encounters,' a showcase of the leading creativity and art coming from the Denver community. Several works were commissioned by Denver Digerati for this program.

SightLine artists included Jonathan Monaghan (NYC, NY), Evan Mann (Denver, CO), Alex McLeod (Toronto, Canada), Karolina Sobecka (Brooklyn, NY), JK Keller (Baltimore, MD), Eric Dyer (Baltimore, MD), Andreas Nicolas Fischer (Berlin, Germany), Jeremy Bailey (Toronto, Canada), RACECAR (Oslo, Norway), Tim Wheatley (Falmouth Cornwall, UK), Reynold Reynolds (Berlin, Germany), Sabrina Ratte (Montreal, Canada), Emilio Gomariz (London, UK) and Kim Pimmel (San Francisco, CA). “SightLine” also distinguished it’s efforts within Denver’s art community by recognizing five notable local artists who were commissioned to create new works specifically for the event. Those artists included Milton Croissant III, Joel Swanson, Phillipe Faulkner, Quentin Gonzalez and the team of Don Fodness / Alvin Gregorio.

The SightLine program was revisited later in the fall of 2012, broken up into four segments that were showcased once again on the LED screen at 14th and Champa as part of the broader all-day creative initiative 'Blacktop.' This event featured a lineup of bands performing live, performance-based artists and their works featured in select locations through the DCPA grounds next door to the LED screen, and a host of other creative activities presented for the community to freely engage with. The DTD also presented the Puma sponsored 'Films 4 Peace' during Blacktop, part of the global World Peace Day initiative. Films 4 Peace is a 20 minute program of 35 mm, live action, experimental animation and fine art shorts commissioned by renowned artists from across the world including Gregory Crewdson, Yang Fudong, Isaac Julien, Michael Nyman and others.


2011

The Denver Theatre district launched content on the signature LED screen located at 14th and Champa Street in early 2011, initially featuring 15 second clips by then Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design student Liz Greene as well as RMCAD alum Justin Beard. The screen was also utilized to circulate a series of rotating static images relating to that winter’s Society of Photographic Educators 'Month of Photography' community-wide exhibition and celebration of the photographic medium.

The DTD worked with Denver University students in support of a classroom initiative in the EMAD program for students to individually and collectively create unique works specifically for the LED screen, with special emphasis on the unique Urban location and context of the screen. Select works from the class were programmed to run on the screen that spring in rotation with regular commercial content.


FRAME OF MIND

The signature program for 2011 was the half-hour exhibition 'Frame of Mind,'  a central component to that year's Create Denver Week celebration 'Local Network', part of an evening event supporting creative endeavors from within the Denver community. Frame of Mind was culled from a locals-only call for entries of motion based artworks of one minute or less. 39 of the entries were selected and showcased to the public during the event. Frame of Mind also awarded a best-of cash prize to artist David Fodel for his 52 second work 'Nimitta'. Select works from the program were later put into a regular rotation on the LED screen alongside the regular commercial content.


LINKS

Westword Best Art Moments of 2011

Westword: Create Denver's Urban Light Show Brings Video Art to the Street