August 23, 2014


Uniquely Cleveland Event Merges Art And Technology

Picture this: A masked man dressed in a head-to-toe metal mesh suit enters the stage between two giant Tesla coils in complete darkness. The music starts and the man raises two glowing lightning rods that are suddenly bolted by sizzling white electricity shot from between the now radiant coils. The man in the mesh suit dances to the music and twists, turns and tosses the rods all while electrical bolts light up the stage to the thump and bounce of each song. [Watch it here.]

That's just one little snippet of what you'll experience at IngenuityFest Sept. 26 - 28. This uniquely Cleveland event is happening at Dock 32, which is adjacent to First Energy Stadium (home of the Cleveland Browns) in downtown Cleveland.

An industrial dock on Lake Erie is a pretty wild place to hold a festival, right? Well, the setting alone does a great job of exemplifying what this event is all about.

So, what is IngenuityFest? To be honest, describing the event in a few words can be a little difficult. Besides telling you that it's a combination of art and technology, we can also say that it's a festival that's thought provoking, artful, musical, eccentric and, frankly, a little weird (but in a good way).

Adjectives aside, the folks at IngenuityFest did a great job of describing the event. Check it out here. And, we can say without a doubt, it's a not-to-be-missed event.

So, let's break it down.


While they're eccentrically unusual, the live performances at IngenuityFest are incredibly captivating and really get those brain juices flowing.

Acts like the Tesla Orchestra (mentioned above) are favorites at the festival. And, so are the performances by a multi-faceted neo-vaudeville cast inside a mini mobile circus tent called Voix de Ville.

But, consider seeing a competitive performance called Iron Composer in which five composers are randomly assigned an instrument and a "secret musical ingredient." They then have just five hours to write a piece of music that incorporates those elements and is performed on the evening of Sept. 26.

We're also pretty psyched about the Three Singers performance in which three female vocalists sing while attached to Singer sewing machines that manipulate their voices.

Art Installations

The art installations are vast and very, very interesting.

Check out the Telepresent Storm: Rita by Thomas Rex Beverly. The artist took historical weather data of Hurricane Rita, ran it through software to create a graphical score and then assigned sound, harmony rhythm, melody and growth to the available weather parameters. One can only imagine the incredible sounds coming out of that project.

Other installations include a people-powered interactive sculpture that uses stationary bicycles to illuminate flames, sculptures created entirely from motorcycle tires and water-filled cymatic projectors set in motion to look like trees.

Musical Performances

DJs, live bands and even a digital violinist perform all day and well into the wee hours of the night on stages and performance areas throughout the festival. The performers have yet to be announced. But based on the past decade's musical offerings at Ingenuity, it's sure to be one heck of a party.

Ingenuity Bazaar

Let's be clear. This isn't your typical craft show. Local artists, crafters, designers and makers of all kind come together to vend their unique wares during the Ingenuity Bazaar. You'll find everything from peppy Cleveland t-shirts and vintage attire to redesigned estate jewelry and canvas artwork.

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