DC Week Blasts Off

13 Jun

If you attended DC Week’s Opening Party, you probably woke up still visually stimulated and perhaps a little hungover. The free flowing wine, champage, and PBR’s (Pabst Blue Ribbon beers- for those of you unfamiliar), converged on the Long View Gallery. The mixed crowd of tech geek (of which I count myself in the number), entrepreneur, hipster, cool kid and socialite made for a remarkable night in the district.

We were all equal when every single person walked around the same alley to the magical scene presented by shinyheart ventures and istrategylabs , co-produced by the pinkline project and major sponsor,Palantir.

DC Week kicked off with a plethora of audio/visual stimuli including DJ Harry Hotter accompanied by live congo player, Tom Pipkin, hip hop dancing by Urban Artistry dance troupe, and an energetic performance by hip hop soul funk rock band, Paradise Movement from York, PA.

I caught a pic of one of Paradise Movement’s (@ParadiseMov ) frontmen, Ralph Real with Rapper Oddisee

(check out some more of Oddisee’s work HERE)

Magical performances weren’t relegated to the Long View Gallery, live acoustic sets were produced by Nico Laget of Asahra Music, establishing  a nice calm mood outside in the party plaza. The acoustic sets featured Peter Muldoon on guitar, Nico Laget on flute and Lulu Fall, vocalist. DC favorite Deborah Bond topped off the night!

I spent some time exploring  the interactive social media activities in the gallery, and escaped the growing heat to the cool night air where I happened to catch Lulu. The artist, who recently performed in London, shared renditions of Sade and Amel Larrieux classics. I walked out of the bustle of the Gallery into the alley to here melodies mixing  the elements of the atmosphere, transporting me to another place.

If the sounds didn’t move attendees, maybe other visuals stimuli like flame throwers or the chance to walk on stilts, live graffiti painting on a huge canvas, or performance art did.  Dance Afire Productions captivated the crowd with electric  pyrotechnic dance.

But the Opening Party of the Districts unique technology week didn’t leave out the very inspiration for the multi-day interactive festival; social media played a large part in the celebration. You could: take a new picture for your Facebook page.

Or you could play an android and iphone application game PlayFlamingGoDC from stickybits.com The game was spread throughout the gallery and the outdoor space. Kinda cool.People took pics with famingos the whole night. Seeing that I’m #teamblackberry, I couldn’t participate in the application based game, but the pictures were fun no less.

Flamingos Were a Theme At the Opening Party

Then there was the performance art. Imagine 7-10 people dressed in black, each carrying a cellular phone, walking like drones around a large silver satellite replica. They scream social media obscenities, so to speak like “Happy Birthday Dad, I’m in jail” and conducting other social fouls like talking too loud in public spaces.

The Performance Piece was called An Eye for An Eye

I had the chance to met and speak with David Worn, manager of Palantir ‘s DC office. Palantir was a major sponsor of the evening. I took a pic of David and the women he was talking to, interrupting their conversation, because I recognized his jacket. Palantir is the author of Analyzethe.us a home of digital data for citizen information. The site can tell you about government spending. Worn describes Palantir’s work as “bringing the Silicon Valley ethos to the District.”

Socialites and David Worn

The party crowd was steady throughout the night. Planners expected about 2000 people. The crowd peaked around 10:30pm. Lots of people walked around with cameras to record the sights and sounds. I’m sure the better conversations took place outside. The gallery became a sweatbox early, and remained so. But it was a draw with the dancers, drummer, DJ, beer, and interactive social media art.

DC Week seriously blasted off with an unforgettable night of conversation, music, and film.  Fashion and art met technology, music and ideas. If the opening party is any indication of the festival’s reach and intent, then it’s sure to be one to make a mark on the city and the world.

See a full calendar of DC Week activities here. And sign your mother, aunt, or other non-traditional users up for my presentation on the Digital Divide. www.smntu.eventbrite.com {It’s free in DC on Thursday at MLK Library.}


3 Responses to “DC Week Blasts Off”

  1. Shashi Bellamkonda June 13, 2010 at 5:18 pm #

    Hi Najeema,

    Good writeup on the opening party. Enjoyed it thoroughly and looking forward to our paths crossing at another event soon.


    • Najeema June 15, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

      Thanks Shasi for reading and commenting. That was definitely unlike any party I had been to. Yes, hoping our paths cross again this DC Week.

  2. Idol Replicas November 4, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

    You seem to be so happy won that party. And it is actually a nice event. Thanks for sharing the joyful experience!

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