Art All Night 2017, the 20th anniversary, was held from 4pm on April 29th to 2pm April 30th. It was at a new space on 36th Street, the former warehouse being torn down for the construction of condos already underway, rising into the Gibsonian future.
I went to this year's Art All Night during the early evening on the 29th, before I felt awkward and left. I came back at around 1am and had a much better time; I don't like being in crowded galleries when I am trying to look at art. I can't get anything from it with a surging crowd around me: it's both distracting and too forceful, discouraging examination and thoughtfulness. I also went back with my grandmother during the early afternoon on the 30th before everything closed. It was a little depressing afterward, with the hazy sweeping that follows a big party, but it was nice to bring my grandmother to something like this.
Art All Night appeals to me because it is a community endeavor. I hear a lot of people complaining about the "bad art", but they miss the entire point. This is a snapshot of life during each year, at least to those aware and interested in the event. It's a folkloric study, delta blues and the Hookman and the rituals of ancient sorcerers. I do think some of the art is hokey, and I wouldn't expect everyone to like everything. I don't think that's the point though either.
Here are some pics:
I do have two criticisms: the lighting in the warehouse is an ugly, ancient yellow and the bands echo too much throughout the space. I heard talk of making a more specific stage area with soundproofing so as to dampen the latter problem, and I hope they go through with it next year. It is interesting to hear the haunting echos, a ghostly reminder of the people all around us that we do or don't know, but ultimately it can make it hard to enjoy the event with louder rock bands.
I plan on submitting something for Art All Night 2018. Maybe I will see you or something you submitted there next year, and we can connect through the vapor trails of folk art. Maybe people will come for no reason other than to "snoot snoot" around. Let's all pretend to be famous for 15 minutes.