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  • By The People Festival

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    Time: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

By The People returns to Union Market in 2019! Halcyon’s By The People festival is a free arts and dialogue takeover of Washington, DC, with hub and satellite locations in all four quadrants of the city.

Union Market is By The People’s NE DC festival hub, featuring an installation by renowned artist and filmmaker Kahlil Joseph and his installation BLKNWS, grammy nominated musician Kokayi and his installation HUBRI$, and interdisciplinary artist Mengxi “Althea” Rao and her work Pilar of Salt: Illuminated History in Writing.

Where: AutoShop, 416 Morse St. NE // June 15-23, 10am-6pm

About Kahlil Joseph

Kahlil Joseph is a Los Angeles-based American artist and filmmaker best known for his large-scale video installations. His most recent work, BLKNWS, is a two-channel video broadcast that blurs the lines between art, journalism, entrepreneurship, and cultural critique, and will be included at the 58thVenice Biennale.

Exploring film as a powerful collective experience that can be manipulated through its essential visual and audio components, BLKNWS reflects upon the contemporary period through samples of popular culture, archival material, and filmed news desk segments that expose the glaring under-development of the news media format.

Joseph has spent the past year incubating BLKNWS at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University through roundtable discussions with faculty, staff, and students in preparation for its inclusion at the Biennale. He currently serves as the artistic director of The Underground Museum, a pioneering independent art museum, exhibition space and community hub in Los Angeles that he co-founded with his late brother, the visionary artist and curator, Noah Davis.

About Kokayi

Kokayi is a GRAMMY nominated musician that is currently using portraiture, sound, performance and film create work that asks the viewer to participate and perpetuate the intangible cultural heritage of black Americans. His work uses manipulated found sounds, portraiture and stories of African/African American men to give the subjects the opportunity to serve as cultural touchpoints in creating a sense of identity, belonging within the diaspora. Kokayi uses technology to remix ideas of masculinity, alterity, divination, success, mediocrity and death as seen in fictional monolithic narratives of Western mythology into tangible representations of black American culture.

HUBRI$ is a mixed media portrait on the experience of black masculinity mediated through the lens of the story of Icarus and Daedalus.  At its nexus, the work is an amalgamation of themes that directly confront; the prison industrial complex, escapism, recidivism, depression, suicide, death and reincarnation. The work also examines society’s obsession with mediocrity, relationship to celebrity, an era of shame and the way in which black men are asked to dream.

About Mengxi “Althea” Rao

Interdisciplinary artist Mengxi “Althea” Rao calls herself a cultural facilitator. She creates social engagement models to facilitate open and playful conversations around topics that are traditionally associated with shame and negativity, such as inherited privilege, mental illness,gender and sexuality. Her works empower individuals and help them find reconciliation with their cultures and selves. “Humans exist in the physical realm but my art does not.” Mediums Althea has explored include but are not restricted to: film and video, projection mapping,physical computing, contact improvisation, light sculpture, public space activation, rituals,and choir singing. She has lived and worked in China, Japan and the US, and studied journalism and filmmaking.

About Noah Scalin

Noah Scalin is the first artist-in-residence at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business. He is creator of the Webby Award winning project Skull-A-Day and the collaborative science fiction universe & performance art project League of Space Pirates. His fine art has been exhibited in museums and galleries internationally, including the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Mütter Museum and Krause Gallery in NYC. His work has been featured in dozens of publications including Fast Company, Hi-Fructose, Juxtapoz, Beautiful/Decay, USA Today, The Telegraph, and the New York Times. Noah co-runs Another Limited Rebellion an art & innovation consulting firm and is a sought after public speaker on creativity. He is the author of six books, including most recently Creative Sprint – which he co-wrote with his sister/business partner Mica Scalin.

CTRL/Command (2019) riffs on the classic traffic signal in an outlandishly oversized format. Scalin replaces “WALK” and “DONT WALK” with new messages, “WAKE,” and, “DONT WAKE.” The work asks us to consider the commands and transactions that we passively encounter throughout the day via a constant flow of subliminally transmitted information, all while our data is collected, sometimes without our knowledge or consent. We provide and consume this information — our credit card numbers, tastes, spending habits, thoughts, ideas, locations, and ideologies — through digital and personal interactions. The work was first installed in Times Square as part of SPRING/BREAK.

CTRL/Command (2019) riffs on the classic traffic signal in an outlandishly oversized format. Scalin replaces “WALK” and “DONT WALK” with new messages, “WAKE,” and, “DONT WAKE.” The work asks us to consider the commands and transactions that we passively encounter throughout the day via a constant flow of subliminally transmitted information, all while our data is collected, sometimes without our knowledge or consent. We provide and consume this information — our credit card numbers, tastes, spending habits, thoughts, ideas, locations, and ideologies — through digital and personal interactions. The work was first installed in Times Square as part of SPRING/BREAK.

About By The People

By The People is an international arts and dialogue festival presented by Halcyon. Launched in 2018, the festival brings visual art, performing art, and dialogue to all four quadrants of Washington, DC, all completely free and open to the public. Each year a different curator interprets the festival’s founding themes: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The inaugural 2018 festival saw over 26,000 visits to official By The People festival events and over 50,000 visits to Smithsonian museums during the affiliated Smithsonian Solstice events. Massive installations, performances ranging from ballet to go-go, high profile speakers, and an augmented reality art hunt set the tone for future By The People events: we will always be pushing the envelope, creating new and thrilling ways for anyone to fan their creative spark by experiencing world-class art.

Free and open to the public, RSVP HERE to get access to all events, all locations, and all days.