Dlectricity Recap: Magic in the City

Dlectricity delivered as promised.

If you couldn’t tell from my post last week, I was beyond excited for Dlectricity. I love neon lights and weird visuals. Dlectricity is like Christmas to me.

On Friday night I stepped out of my Midtown apartment and hit the streets. I started at Luminaria Magna on the corner of Warren and Woodward and made it just in time to see Anthony Jasper’s set.

Dreams do come true.

The stage was set inside a wall of lights that were color controlled by an interactive panel guests could experiment with. Anthony was the perfect act for the event, his music is universally likable and a great representation of the techno talent in Detroit. If you haven't read our J'adore Exclusive with Anthony, check it out here.

After, I stopped into The Cathedral Church of St. Paul Sanctuary to watch Akiko Nakayama project a magnified live stream of mixing paint. Originally I thought it was a visual on loop, it took probably five minutes to realize that I was watching a projection of the artist mixing paint in the corner- it was mind blowing.

One of my favorite things about Dlectricity is going in places I’ve been before, like the DIA or a church, and seeing the space in a new light and carrying that memory with me the next time I’m there.

The DIA was poppin’ inside and out. I watched The Shadows of Slendrotron (The Monkey God’s Great Leap) behind the DIA and was thoroughly impressed with the robotic performance. Only in Detroit would something so obscure happen.

If it’s any indication of how spectacular the art was- I was on a terrible date Friday and still had a great time at Dlectricity. Friday’s festivities came to an end and left me excited for Saturday.

Saturday started with a shopping spree at Boro to find the perfect outfits for the day. I left with a very Boho Barbie fringe vest for my daytime look and a glittery gold, liquescence body suit my night look.  My girlfriends and I went to a bougie-bouge rooftop party in Eastern Market coordinated by the ever fabulous Playground Detroit for Soho House. After getting our daily dose of celebrity vibes, the girlsquad and I geared up for another night of Dlectricity.

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Saturday night was twice as busy as Friday. People from all walks of life were out and about, it was a great moment for the Detroit community. Yes, there were definitely suburbanites in the mix but there were also a lot of families and kids from real Detroit.


The girls and I posted up on the steps at the DIA to watch the projection across the street, on the Detroit Library. On the side of the building, we got our picture taken at the Light as a Shadow installation presented by Arts and Scraps. Behind the DIA, we played with giant glowing bunnies  in the CCS sculpture park.

Photo of Sarah O'Donnell taken by Alex Santori

Photo of Sarah O'Donnell taken by Alex Santori

After, we went to Mocad and ran into what felt like everyone I’ve ever met in Detroit. Mocad was the place to be! The gallery was filled with people enjoying the artwork and getting drinks at the indoor/outdoor bar. The tiny house behind Mocad was illuminated and outlined with projections. Unfortunately, there was a horribly annoying projection of people screaming that added a layer of anxiety to the outdoor area.

After mingling at Mocad, my friend Alex and I headed back to the Luminaria Magna stage. On the way we ran into a performance piece showcasing actors behind shades being projected on and interacted with by artists. As the people behind the shades performed what looked like a Chinese tea ceremony, artists were moving and mixing different materials on the projectors to colorfully veil the performance.

We made it back to Luminaria Magna to watch Ryan Dahl end the festival with a bang. Talk about the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Ryan Dahl is a straight up techno babe. I could have watched him perform in a wall of lights for the rest of the night.

During the show a really special thing happened. I looked over and saw a man I recognized from the area, I think he’s homeless - but not in a scary zombie way. And there he was, enjoying this incredible performance at this incredible event, dancing in the crowd like everyone else.

It made me appreciate the magnitude of inspiration Dlectricity injected into the community and the youth.

The festival made avantgarde art accessible to everyone and people were receptive and excited to be there. I can only imagine the amount of young minds Dlectricity inspired. I have the privilege of being exposed to bizarre creative things on the regular and it has immensely shaped who I am as a person. Dlectricity gave that experience to everyone in Detroit for free and that is something profoundly significant.

There’s a special magic in Detroit and it was very present throughout the entire weekend. See you in two years Dlectricity, I’m already counting down the days.

Love always,

Boho Barbie

* Special shout out to Alex Santori for the pictures and videos, thank you so much! *