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Houston, Insight and Out

Houston, Insight and Out
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By Michael Pennywark

Photo by Lynn Lane

Ahhh, May. There’s nothing quite like it. Except maybe April, which is kind of like May, just a little colder and with Easter and no Cinco de Mayo. Ahhh, Cinco de Mayo, is there any better way to start a month? A day when, after several shots of tequila, everyone becomes the most interesting man, or woman, in the world. So what do you do later this month when you finally overcome the embarrassment of the things you are told that you did when you blacked out that night? First, look for a new apartment, because your neighbors are never going to forgive you for what you did to their pet. Next, check out the sights and sounds of Houston during the Insight|Out Festival May 19-20.

That gives you two whole weeks to get over your humiliation and embrace the world, or at least, Houston. Promising to deliver site-specific performances by visionary guest artists in unique locations around the city, Insight|Out brings together three different local arts organizations for three different performances in three different disciplines in one celebration of Houston. And the best part? It’s free, so you can spend the last of your rent money on booze and still get to enjoy a little culture—not to mention you can check out any apartments for lease in the area.

According to the press release, there will be a drive-in film event hosted by the Aurora Picture Show called “Scoot-in” 8pm, May 19 at Sesquicentennial Park. Curated by Bart Weiss of the Dallas Video Festival and hosted by Buffalo Bayou Partnership, this event will highlight short films featuring two-wheeled vehicles. Which might be all the City of Houston lets you drive by this point.

If you make it the Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park between 2pm and 4pm, May 20, you can catch Stephen Kolowitz’s “Taskforce—Natural Acts in Artificial Water.” Presented by Diverseworks with support from Uptown Houston, the sixteen professional dancers will perform to music composed by Aaron Hermes and Space City Gamelan, Houston’s Indonesian orchestra. Hopefully none of these natural acts resemble what you may or may not have done during your Cinco de Mayo celebration.

If that’s not enough, the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts will present “Seven in the Third” on May 20 at Project Row Houses where composer Travis Weller provides a site-specific score spread across seven of the historic buildings. Inside the houses audiences will roam about with portable radios and headphones as they encounter musicians delivering refracted solos.

Not entirely sure of what to make of all this, I did what I always do when confronted with something I don’t totally understand—drink. And then apparently call the person organizing the event. Luckily for me, Karen Farber, director of the Cynthia Mitchell Woods center for the Arts was kind enough to answer my questions. She explained that the inspiration for this somewhat experimental event came from an interest in examining how site-specific art can be created in a city that is as car-centric as Houston. When artists from each of the disciplines of film, dance, and music were invited to create new works specifically about Houston and how we traverse our city, they each selected a historically significant site in which to perform.

But unfortunately, she didn’t know of any apartments for rent.

“Scoot-In”: 8 pm, May 19

Sesquicentennial Park (400 Texas Ave.)

“Seven in the Third”: noon and 3 pm, May 20

Project Row Houses (2505 – 2521 Holman St.)

“Stephan Koplowitz: Taskforce – Natural Acts in Artificial Water”: 2 pm and 4 pm, May 20

Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park (2800 Post Oak Blvd.)

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