Urban Artcelium Brings Multidimensional Art Experience to Lofi Brewing: Interview

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    Urban Artcelium Brings Multidimensional Art Experience to Lofi Brewing: Interview
    Published: November 8, 2022

    New Paradigm Productions celebrate their first birthday this Friday, November 11th with a very special installment of Artcelium Fest called Urban Artcelium, taking place at Lofi Brewing.

    Urban Artcelium is a multidimensional art experience that seeks to create a space where people feel inspired to connect and collaborate. The brewery will be transformed into a living, breathing piece of art, with creators of all kinds contributing their talents to see what they can make together.

    Friday’s Urban Artcelium marks the 9th installment of Artcelium Fest, which started out as a monthly event at the Woodlands Nature Reserve in June of 2021. This is the first time that the event has taken place in downtown Charleston.

    Charleston artist and musician Aggie Flores organized the first few editions of Artcelium Fest while working at the Woodlands Nature Reserve. In the fall she was joined by fellow Woodlands employees Jing Wen and Stephany Ferreira. Together the trio formed New Paradigm Productions, and began curating the event independently.

    Left to right: Stephany Ferreira, Aggie Flores, and Jing Wen of New Paradigm Productions. Photo by Kati Baldwin.

    Since then, they have worked together to develop and expand the community surrounding Artcelium Fest, connected via the “mycelium network,” as well as helping to transform other events into immersive experiences. They have worked with folks like Easy Honey, 87 Nights, Loser Chris, Mike Live, Tobin’s Market, and even us here at Extra Chill for our New Years Eve Party at Lofi last year.

    “The old paradigm, if you think about how a business is run,” Stephany explains, “you have one person, or a couple people with all the money, and then it trickles down. That’s how it sustains. We’re trying to build from the ground up. Literally, because mycelium, which is the network of mushrooms under the ground that connects everything. You can send nutrients, or resources to one another and that builds the foundation and then it can grow from there. It’s totally the opposite of how things are normally done. It’s like, let’s all get together and see what we can do. Pool our resources. Nothing can take that away — it’s a lot more fundamental.”

    “We saw the potential of it becoming something greater than we initially envisioned,” Aggie explains. “Trying to bring people together to create together at the same time, and see what happens when you have all these creators in the same room inspiring each other, while doing making, and manifesting.”

    Aggie was initially inspired by her past roles as an event coordinator for companies like Guyaki and Red Bull, where she was involved in creating immersive experiences to represent the brands at festivals and events.

    Aggie Flores performing at Artcelium Fest in summer 2022. Photo by Kati Baldwin.

    “I worked for a company that was all about regeneration, sustainability and human connection, and that set the path for me to then want to continue doing it,” Aggie says. “During 2020, the pandemic kind of stopped that job for me, we all got laid off from the company. I realized, ‘I dont want to stop doing this.’ I really love creating spaces and manifesting the energy that you want to see from a room, you know? So I started doing that for my friends and for colleagues and it just become a thing afterwards.”

    “At one point I asked both of them, “What is actually a party?” Because I didn’t get it,” Jing says. “But Aggie really showed me what a party can be. I remember how she explained that you create a physical space, a 3-D space through decorations. How you separate them, the design of the people flow, what kind of music to play, and it curates a certain energy in that space. If it’s done right, it definitely encourages people to connect with each other.”

    In addition to inspiring people to come together and create, Artcelium Fest seeks to have a rejuvenating affect on those who attend.

    “Most people, they end up leaving an event feeling worse than when they came in, because of alcohol, or leaving at 2am in the morning, or whatever,” Aggie says. “I always thought, like, how cool would it be if people left an event feeling better than how they came in.”

    Decor at Artcelium Fest. Photo by Kati Baldwin.

    While all of this may bring to mind a psychedelic experience, Aggie makes it clear that Urban Artcelium is not just about the psychedelic experience, but rather mental stimulation of all kinds.

    “I do want to make sure that this is not just a psychedelic experience,” she says. “There are stimulants everywhere, you can be stimulated with so many things. Sometimes you have a stimulating conversation, sometimes a stimulating room, sometimes you have a stimulant in music. It doesn’t have all to do around substance. There are so many ways you can induce your brain and your spirit into having an experience that can actually like take you to a different level of consciousness.”

    Urban Artcelium is simply a change of perspective, a collective experience, and an opportunity to collaborate with the creative minds of Charleston.

    “At the end of the day, I think that’s what we need right now. To get out of our default mode,” Aggie says. “There are so many things we need to pay attention to right now, especially with where the world is at with climate change and political things happening here and there, and all of these things sprouting all over the country, the world. Having a moment where you can just be intentional about your gathering, that’s another thing we want to bring in.”

    “What’s the intention behind us gathering, and why do we come here, what are you trying to do, what are you trying to see?” she continues. “If not, it’s releasing yourself into the uncertainty of whatever it is that the experience will bring to you. We just move around in this autopilot, just doing things. Next to next to next. That’s the idea of Artcelium itself, it’s just like what can we do to break that routine, maybe do something that you wouldn’t expect. Like in a jam session as well, something that you didn’t see coming. It’s just like, let yourself be surprised by the experience.”

    Tickets to Urban Artcelium are $19, and are available at newparadigmproductions.com. Party starts at 8pm.

    New Paradigm Productions hanging out at Artcelium Fest, summer 2022. Photo by Kati Baldwin.

    Artists at Urban Artcelium

    Urban Artcelium will feature a wide range of different artists presenting in different mediums, and we’ve broken all of that down for you here.

    Music Schedule

    8:30pm: DJ Jinglesparkle

    9:30pm: Persona La Ave DJ Set

    10:30pm: DJ Moldybrain & Friends live jam featuring Coleman Sawyer (Rare Creatures), Adam Coyne (Easy Honey / Schema), Andy Hocutt (Terrachrome), JR Spencer (Majic Dust), Paul Who is Lost, and Aggie Flores.

    12:00am: DJ Moldybrain DJ Set

    Performers

    LED Dance Performances by Radiance Performing

    Aerial Performances by Out on a Limb

    Live Art

    Live Projection Mapping by Spencer Brown of Errotron Visuals

    Live Painting by Nick Rypkema and Kelsea Brown

    Interactive Vendors

    Eros Elixir Bar by Conjured Bliss

    DIY Jewelry Station by Genuine Gypsy

    Tinsel Fairy Hair Extensions by Stranded CHS

    Tarot & Oracle Readings by Faline Market

    Live Glass Blowing by Mushie Charms

    Activism

    Charleston Climate Coalition

    Get your tickets to Urban Artcelium here.

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