By Robbie Nevel
It was hot out during the III Points Festival in Wynwood, a weekend dedicated to music, art, and technology. It was so hot that even in the aftermath, an objective view of the III Points experience seems stale. A review would feel forced without acknowledgment of my part in it and the effect massive amounts of sweat have on any recounting of any experience. So the very possibility of traditional journalism died of heat stroke.
Also, see: III Points Takes Wynwood
The afternoon of Saturday, October 5th treated Miami like the Earth’s own personal oven. But that didn’t stop a decent sized group of about thirty to forty musicians, artists, reporters, and passerby from congregating by the Wynwood Walls to listen to local music folks talk about the Miami scene. As just one of many events, it did damned well for a hellish South Florida afternoon. All over town, midday parties went full force with DJ’s, live music, flowing booze, and other attractions of an artistic nature.
The “Musically Speaking” panel lacked a bar so it is a testament to the success of the festival that the turnout was so good. It was also a fortunate event to arrive to first: starting the day with an informative and relaxing Q&A is a wiser move than going straight to the drinking. Drunk, the topics covered by the panel would have been less articulate (if they were drinking) and not at all paid attention to (if I was drinking).
The content of the panel was another story. While valid points were made across the board by local heavy hitters like Lolo from Sweat Records and Jose Duran from the New Times, a lot of the subject matter was polarized. That is to say, negligent of the vast gray area that exists for most things. For example the topic of ‘living the moment’ versus ‘capturing the moment.’ Sides were taken as to whether or not one should hold up an iPad to record an entire concert, but the fact staring everyone in the face was that for a song or two, maybe a Youtube video is a great motivator for someone else to go see a show. But for holding up the cell through a full set would be overkill. Still, despite a lot of the obvious oversights, the panel was interesting.
Wynwood Kitchen, Panther Coffee, and all the other cafes and restaurants started filling up as the day progressed and more people showed up only to quickly opt out of the heat. Foot traffic picked up, and things got even more fun. There was music of all kinds coming from every open gallery and chill spot, rising levels of intoxication, and even a few passerby munching on medical grade cannabis edibles from California. There were local music showcases, BBQ’s, and even a hair salon getting into the III Points spirit by playing techno music for wanderers who came in to glance at the art on their walls.
After walking around in the blazing hot sun for a while with a bloodstream full of alcohol and other goodies, the Kryogenifex party was a great place to stop for a moment. Kryogenifex is a Miami based company that sells liquid nitrogen special effects to nightclubs and other like-minded establishments. This was going to, at the very least, be a delight to the senses. Inside their warehouse, it was like a science fiction nightclub with bursts of liquid nitrogen fog blasting from unexpected places. Outside it was the same, luring in bystanders with mysterious plumes of thick white vapors.
After walking, drinking, smoking, and grooving, the energy was left for only one last stop on the way home. Gab Studio, located on the outskirts of the Wynwood strip, was a fitting end. A DJ spun chill beats while a classy clientele chilled by the bar in front, playing old school arcade games. Certainly one of the coolest moments of the day.
Despite the scorching temperatures and the only intermittent shelter from the elements, the daytime portion of III Points was just as exciting as the nighttime musical performances by local bands and international legends such as DJ Shadow and James Murphy. Although, killer parties do not a festival make – if it returns next year, there’s sure to be another weekend of sense stimulation for anyone looking to kill an afternoon or evening before some top notch performances.
III POINTS x FILM
Is the III Point Festival the SXSW of the East?
We are big fans of SXSW and of course had our interest peaked by a new Miami Festival on the Wynwood block that laid claim of being the equivalent to the East. III Points was far from it, but they were fun in a very DIY, Miami, heavy on the music and good times kinda of way.
There was one film event, David Lynch and Borscht at the Miami Light Project’s LightBox. We loved the versatility of the venue and its technical capabilities. The screening began with a selection of films commissioned by the Borscht Film Festival in 2013, which we had already seen but love- Postmodem, directed by Jillian Mayer and Lucas Leyva, Cockfight, directed by Julian Yuri Rodriguez and Supermeng, directed by Otto Von Schirach. It was a treat to finally watch The Voice Thief, written and directed by Adan Jodorowsky, the musician turned director, son of cult director Alejandro Jodorowsky. The films should’ve been screened at last year’s Borscht Film Festival, but was not ready in time.
The very slick and big budget short, staring Cristobal Jodorowsky (Adan’s brother) and Asia Argento (daughter of cult director Dario Argento and the wet dream for many horror film nerds) was a visual feast, with hypersexualized symbolism of the Freud persuasion, sex and death drives, intertwining in a delirious ending. At its heart, the film was a love story.
After that warm up, Kevin Sharpley and Gianfranco Bianchi, creator/director and animator of the Beach Chronicles, a local Transmedia Florida noir project, introduced the feature documentary “Meditation Creativity Peace” created and presented by the David Lynch Foundation. Unfortunately David Lynch was not in attendance, but the foundation presented the transmediation (not to be confused with Transmedia) documentary, of surprisingly poor cinematic quality, which we overlooked because we got to listen to David Lynch speak about his creative process for close to an hour and a half, alternatively to large audiences or in intimate interview sessions.
Before we close off, we would like to mention the interactive exhibits at the Sound Stage at the Mana Studios (last time we were in there, they were shooting Iron Man 3). We loved the low budget creativity of the installations, some of them deliciously utilitarian like the porn mobile or the spinning cube where we could get completely disoriented, while being hosted by a drag queen. One more Festival for the city is always a good thing and we wish III Points good luck.
Tech x Bloggers
After two years of fairs and festivals, I have to say, the III Points experience was lacking in the press/media department. Sure, they showered us with bubbly and snacks, but that alone doesn’t give one too much to write about. Prior to the festival, bloggers received only minimal information about the exhibitions and artists participating in the festival. Where international art fairs and national music festivals send out alerts, media, and copy to bloggers and journalist daily prior and during their duration, I received but one press release for the entirety of III Points.
Apparently, there were also catalogs of the artworks handed out, but not to the press in the blogger’s lounge. Nor was the press/blogging community provided with access for behind the scenes coverage. No backstage opportunities – not even a map. I would have liked a media preview and exclusive access in order to provide my readers with the kind of content and behind the scenes experience unavailable to the masses, but no such preview was forthcoming.
I thereby believe the media were robbed of a proper story. The “technology” aspect of the event was certainly not prominent (which was what I was most curious about). I could be wrong but the seemingly forced collaborations and free labor for start-ups via “contests” is less than tasteful. To top it off, it was so hot out that without a proper map to lead us directly to participating exhibition spaces, it took far too long to find tucked away galleries or parts of the festival that were off the beaten path. Maybe it was somehow their intention to include all spectators into the festival – a cruel performance art experiment involving excessive sweating and heat exhaustion.
To escape the Miami heat, many hid in the bloggers lounge (see: The HoC’s video of the Samsung Galaxy Press Lounge on page 1) where we were able to experience the wonderful world of Samsung Galaxy (which was the extent of the “technology” aspect of the festival as far as I’m concerned). It would’ve been way cooler of the company to provide us with blogger swag in the form of free gadgets but all we got was a half-baked demonstration of how the Galaxy Gear and the Galaxy Note work.