Flux Night 2012

Perhaps one of the best events I attended in 2012 was Flux Night on October 6th in Castleberry Hill. Flux Night is modeled after Nuit Blanche in Toronto. It had live performance art and sound and visual installations in the street and in a couple of the galleries in the neighborhood.

The weather was perfect as a cold front plowed through just as the event was getting underway and it became blustery and chilly. It was the first wave of Fall weather we had had up until that point. I was still recovering from surgery, but was strong enough to get out and walk but I did get tired at times and was a little paranoid about getting bumped in the stomach. I ended up taking breaks leaning against walls and sitting on a sidewalk behind a food vendor eating a hot dog. It was just great to be out among people, on the street, in the chilly weather and taking in the art.

Castleberry Hill is one of my favorite Atlanta neighborhoods, it is a place I came to like back in the late
1990s when living there was certainly more an attempt at urban pioneering than chic living. The neighborhood is a gem with the old warehouses converted into authentic loft spaces. It is located directly south of the Georgia Dome and Philips Arena.

In some ways the night was more of a night time street fair than an arts event. I hadn't expected the large number of food trucks selling a little bit of everything, I was expecting more art installations and open galleries. Given the huge attendance I suppose it was good there were so many food and beer vendors but I was beginning to think as I left that by the end of the night with all of the college students and the beer that it might become more of a drunken beer festival frat party crowd.

Ceiling of Blackbirds, this was my favorite installation. The two live performers are cutting out black and white paper birds.

Crowd estimates were in the 12,000 to 13,000 range. I thought it was great that many people came out to celebrate the arts and walk the streets of Castleberry Hill that night. Yet, some in the arts community thought that maybe this wasn't the best Flux Night and were unhappy with some of the changes and still others thought it was the best one ever. It was my first time attending and I had a great time. Sure if there had been more installations or performances or more galleries open that night it would have been even better. I came away happy that night and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, crowds and all, which means I look forward to Flux Night 2013.

Planning is already underway for Flux Night 2013 as submissions from artists are already being accepted as of earlier this month.

More IPhone photos from the night that you can click to enlarge:

It had been less than a month since I was released from the hospital after nearly dying and I sat to rest on a curb to watch the crowd. It did not take me long to realize where I was and my personal history across the street. How Castleberry Hill had changed since 1999 when I was dating a designer with a loft before me. So many nights spent sleeping there, doing odd things, listening to Portishead and Massive Attack, enlightening conversations and the concerns I had about parking my car on the street overnight. I learned and found much of myself there.

gloATL dancers performing.

This installation was designed to light up and place musical notes as people interacted with it however it wasn't working mostly.

Provocative. Seeing "queer" projected to the mixed crowd before I walked off into the dimly night bothered me. I did not know the origin or the intent of whoever was using queer and what that might spark in someone that might find someone gay like me an easy target walking down a dark street. It put me on edge as someone that had been attacked for being gay before. It seemed careless  by whomever was behind it.

I have seen this referred to as The Troll. It would flash provocative messages at the crowds.