Thursday, August 25, 2011

Why Red?

Red Interactive is an experimental art initiative conceived by Ed Newman and John Heino. I met John on the set of Iron Will, a Disney production filmed here in Duluth. A few years later I discovered that we shared a mutual friend, and the mutual respect deepened as a result of our seven years with a group called M5. (It would make this all more intriguing if M5 were a secret underground group with secret handshakes, but it was not.)

Most of his adult life he has been keyboard artist in various bands while holding down high level executive positions by day with various companies across the Northland, primarily in the energy field. In recent years John became increasingly energized by photography, a passion of his that most likely developed while an art student at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. For several years we have expressed a mutual desire to work on a collaborative art project, sowing seeds now and then as regards what shape this project would take.

Red Interactive is an outgrowth of this seed sowing activity. One seed pertained to the involvement of others via interactive social media. The implementation of this boundary-stretching experience was only made possible by the emergence of Web 2.0 interactive social media platforms, primarily Facebook.

The physical component of Red Interactive aims to open sometime in September in Superior, Wisconsin (specific date and location TBA) and run for approximately two months. There will be an ever shifting display and two or three red-themed events involving red-themed art, found objects and sculpture collaboratively arranged in a 3D composition within the physical space. Each event will also feature red-themed performances (music, dance, poetry, etc.).

Parallel to the physical show, space and performances, Red Interactive will maintain its virtual space on Facebook and through the full array of online channels such as Twitter and blogs. Some elements will move back and forth between physical and virtual Red Interactive spaces. This is open architecture. We welcome all artists, creative thinkers and people who simply enjoy art--particularly experimental projects. The only boundary is that this is a public arts project, so we ask that all physical and virtual contributions are appropriate for public display.

A lot of people have been asking "Why red?" "Red" is a trigger and a theme. It could have been "blue" or "farm animals" or "show tunes for $100." The trigger/theme merely presents the first thread from which the ultimate tapestry is woven into fractals of infinity. Why red? Because it has such a rich array of connotations -- passion, danger, romance, redemption, intrigue and the like. John suggested it originally, and I liked it for its lack of specificity. Like music, colors convey such a variety of connotations, especially when blended with imagination.

For all who have been contributing to make this an original and ever-surprising project, thank you. For those who are as yet not part of our experiment, please visit our Facebook page, make comments or even contribute your own red vision. Images here (by Andrew Perfetti, John Heino, and John Nolan) are just a few of more than 100 original contributions from ten countries, ten states, three continents.

Go red.

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