On September 23, 2017, the Paseo Project hosted its fourth festival since 2014. Residents and visitors were treated to a spectacular show of light, performance and installation art positioned around Taos Plaza.
The focal point on the one-night festival was the oldest hotel in Taos: Hotel La Fonda de Taos, built in 1820. Japanese-born Brooklyn projection mapping artist, Motomichi, in collaboration with DJ Kanizzle, choreographed a pulsating 4-hour score to accompany his signature red, black and white patterns and giant monster characters projected on the facade of the hotel.
Artist Jamie Vaida, creator of Mutant Vehicles for Burning Man, installed Fire Tree and Flaming Pipe Organ in collaboration with Alvin Sessions. The two custom-crafted sculptures use fire and sound elements that react to audience input.
DJ Oliver curated Silent Disco, which merges three DJ booths and 10 DJs into 500 multi-channel headsets. Party-going dancers entered alternate sensorial universes by switching to different cultural genres – electronica, Latin, native rap, Afro-pop and world music.
A virtual photo booth powered by Luster using Instagram and Twitter feeds brought everyone with a smartphone into a community documentary of the party. With the tag #paseotaos, every photo posted online was projected on-site then printed out as a pocket-sized party favor.
The Paseo Project continued its community engagement with the Party on the Plaza. Through [email protected], youth from Taos schools – winners of a county-wide environmental Monster Design Challenge – had their STEAM Monsters projected on adobe walls surrounding the Plaza. UNM-Taos Digital Media Arts students worked with Motomichi to projection-map their monster animations on the old courthouse. In the Monster Hack workshop led by Andrea Polli and based on her book, Hack the Grid, students delved into the topic of energy, climate change and sustainability as inspiration for their STEAM Monsters. SOMOS young poets were involved as well, using words to portray and confront personal and global monsters.
The Paseo Project is partnering with other Taos groups to add to the festivities. Twirl Play & Discovery Space presented Eye Play, an immersive optical illusion experience and hands-on maker activity to engage families. Partner galleries and businesses joined the party by staying open late and hosting participatory experiences to engage the curious of all ages.
The Paseo Party on the Plaza was the Paseo Project’s fourth annual fall outdoor art event. It was again part of Taos Fall Arts Festival’s opening weekend events.