Even as the DUMBO Arts Festival gets bigger and more corporate-sponsored (ATT, East River Ferry, Atlantic City tourism), there's still plenty of surprises and silliness to be had. Art, music, craziness, sunshine, a million bubbles, games, food trucks (obvs), tons of little kids, weirdo costumes—you name it!
We brought you a look at Day 1—here are some highlights from Saturday (Day 2):
• Bubbles of Hope. Russian performance artist and provocateur Andrey Bartenev gathered together some 60 of his friends, dressed them in his nutso outfits, and then paraded through the streets and parks before winding up in the Tobacco Factory for a massive dance party and bubble-machine-fueled celebration of happiness and humanity. This was a blast.
• The Backpack Gallery. Heloisa Escudero recruited a dozen artists, each creating an interactive piece in one of her wooden backpacks. The artists then wander around and encourage folks to open their packs and see what's inside.
• Acrobuffos: Waterbombs! Two Euro-clown-ish performers took over the intersection of Water and Main for an audience-participatory and surprisingly funny show which mostly involved spitting water, throwing water balloons and "by accident" getting people wet, and ordering around kids via a shrill whistle. Seriously, though, it was actually amusing.
• Bartertown, a Heather Hart Experience. For years now Seattle artist Heather Hart has been setting up her Bartertown at the DUMBO Arts Festival, and I like it every time. Basically: people set up tables offering goods, entertainments, and experiences—handmade soap, baked goods, magic tricks, "make an animated movie," "look through this kaleidoscope"--for which they exchange whatever you want to give them. A "joke for a cookie" is a typical trade.
• The Dada Playground. Very handmade-looking, very interactive cardboard structures, all created by the collective known as "Dada. Power to the Artists!", provided the off-kilter anchor for the Kid's Lot, which also featured a amazingly cool crafts area set up by DUMBO's own Creatively Wild Art Studio.
And if you haven't been, there's still time to get there today! There are events and activities going on through Sunday at 6:00 p.m.!