Thousands of music lovers, art aficionados, and tech nerds converged this past weekend for the third annual Day of Night festival, held in the heart of downtown Houston. A massive two-story warehouse venue housed the event, stocked with sets of deep resonating bass, striking art installations and thousands of smiling faces.
Thinkers from around the world took part in curating the experience – including Japanese electronic music producer Ryoji Ikeda; Nadya Tolokonnikova and the Russian punk activist band Pussy Riot; Ryoichi Kurokawa, media and sound artist from Japan; and French sand sculptor Theodore Fivel, just to name a few.
Kurokawa and Ikeda were the perfect embodiment of Day for Night’s mission to provide an immersive weekend experience exploring the boundaries of light and sound. Both artists strive for a genuinely sensory-integrated piece of art, with visual and audio elements that provide an overall experience – as opposed to the typical 1-dimensional art.
Ikeda’s bass-heavy DJ set at Day for Night featured his custom projected visuals and lasers, which are coded artistically to correlate with his music. Regarded as one of the most popular and technically precise electronic music producers in Asia, Ryoji Ikeda combines mesmerizing coded visuals with bass music so dense and thick you can feel it in the core of your being.
Opening with an ominous and suspenseful series of glitchy beats, Ikeda dropped an unbelievably massive wave of bass over Day for Night that seemed to shake the whole fest — and kept it resonating for the duration of his set. The entrancing visuals that corresponded with the music set Ikeda apart as a visual artist as well as a curator of sounds. Seeing him perform was a truly unique experience — something you will not find at just any fest.
Although Ryoichi Kurokawa was not present in person as Ikeda was, his art installation left a significant impression on a wide range of both nature geeks and tech nerds in attendance. Secluded in a quiet corner of the second floor of the festival’s massive warehouse venue, Kurokawa’s installation provided an authentic immersion experience. Confined within a geometric hexagon design on the cold concrete floor hung multiple huge monitors Each of which streamed a synchronized feed of different creative video cuts of a crashing waterfall.
The waterfalls’ roaring sounds, of crashing water and spraying mist, surrounds the art viewer from within the middle of the hexagon. Looking at the monitors beckons viewers to fall in an entirely immerse themselves in the experience — which is precisely what Kurokawa, and the festival as a whole, was aiming to do.
The Day for Night gathering, celebrating technology, music, and art, boasted a massive lineup, a setting under the Houston skyline and PLENTY of lasers. Nerds from around the globe converged for an unbelievably unforgettable weekend — we cannot wait to be back in 2018.