Share Detroit (Rheostat Ride) - 2012

Winding through the streets of midtown at night is a jumble of luminous letters floating seven feet above the pavement, each casting a halo of red light beneath it. As the letters draw near, you see the bicycle under each one, and the riders propelling them, each letter flying flag-like from a mast. More riders arrive, and each one stops in a predetermined spot. They form a line, spelling a phrase, and stand there for a few moments. They ride away one by one, and the letters peel off into side streets, only to reassemble somewhere else as a different phrase.

This work, created for DLECTRICITY, is a dance on bicycles that ranged from Grand Boulevard to Jefferson Avenue, and from Third Street to Brush. Our goal was to be visible both as disparate neon letters moving through the event, and as a poem that progressively unfolds over the course of the two nights. Each line of the poem is an anagram of "SHARE DETROIT."

Over the course of the project, we created a community out of our studio. We brought in volunteers, fed them, got to know them, and made our work accessible to them on many levels. At the outset, we anticipated needing to explicitly choreograph the entire performance. Almost immediately, we discovered that our volunteers were our creative equals, fully capable of coordinating themselves with little guidance. Moreover, we wanted to share authorship of the performance with them.

Endless thanks to our volunteer riders:
S - Kinga
H - Heather
A - Ron
R #1 - Ben
E #1 - Matt
D - Jackie
E #2 - Jordan
T #1 - Joe
R #2 - Ryan
O - Natalie
I - Andrea
T #2 - Tori