I usually have plans on Saturdays. Maybe a boozy brunch, some quality time with my cats, or napping much of the day away next to a plate of Pop Tarts while a Winona Ryder movie I’ve seen way too many times plays in the background. The plan for this Saturday was a combination of these three options, until the skies parted and an email describing the coolest event I’ve heard of in a long while fell into my lap(top). The Creators Project, the brainchild of Intel and VICE, is a global celebration of what happens when art collides with technology. 150 innovative artists from far and wide and a gang of uber buzzy musicians (the Yeah Yeah Yeahs! LCD Soundsystem! Zola Jesus!) will descend upon San Francisco’s Fort Mason for a weekend of boundary-pushing creative expression. Here’s a run-down of what you can look forward to:

Yeah Yeah Yeahs!

Do I even have to sell you on them? This art-rock trio, headed by mic-swallower Karen O, has been making consistently solid avant-punk noise since 2001. Over a decade of memories. Like that time you listened to “Maps” after a break up and cried and cried and cried and said something like “That song is about me!!!” Or that time you thought it would be a really great idea to cut your hair into a Karen O bowl cut and, instead of looking like this, you ended up looking like this. Seeing them live this Saturday will basically be like a high school reunion, only with way better dancing and minus all those jerks. Watch Karen O invade San Francisco’s Chinatown with weirdness above!

Life on Mars Revisited

Couldn’t you just look at David Bowie all day (those teeth, that hair, those different colored eyes!)? Well, you can do just that this weekend with Life on Mars Revisited, a collaboration between film director Barney Clay and iconic rock photographer Mick Rock. Footage of Bowie performing “Life on Mars” made its home in a cookie tin in the back of Mick Rock’s garage for thirty years (!!!), but has mercifully been emancipated, cleaned, restored, recolored and revamped into a brand new warped attack on the senses. Slap on some eye shadow and get there.

James Murphy, Pat Mahoney, and Nancy Whang (of LCD Soundsystem)

You know when you see that snappy dresser with that edgy haircut, bopping their head under a pair of headphones, on the bus or walking down Mission and you think, I wonder what they’re listening to? There’s a 49% chance that it’s LCD Soundsystem, a band known for dragging disco’s corpse into the 21st century and reviving it all over the dance floor. They officially disbanded last year (causing many fans to make this face), but turn that frown upside down ’cause they’re back for a super special DJ set! It would be wise to take the advice the band gave on 2010’s This Is Happening: “Go and dance yourself clean.”

Origin by United Visual Artists

The culmination of a year-long project by the UK’s United Visual Artists and The Creators Project, Origin is a mammoth 40-foot-by-40-foot audiovisual cubic lattice of light, metal, and sound that must be seen to be believed. Experimental electronic musician Scanner will provide an original environmental score that will compliment all the oohing and aahing.

Zola Jesus

If opera had a one night stand with goth music in a field somewhere in Wisconsin, Zola Jesus would be their bastard child. Since she debuted on the music scene at the tender age of 20 in 2009, she has fused darkwave industrial noise and electro atmospherics with the infectious melodies of classic pop songs, not to mention made fans out of Fever Ray, the xx, and Xiu Xiu. Now it’s your turn. Channel your inner angst and get gloomy!

Six-Forty by Four-Eighty

The space between human and computer has never been slighter (truth be told, I often sleep next to my laptop — never is a cover hog). Zigelbaum and Coelho, two artist-researchers from MIT’s Media Lab got to thinking about this relationship and created Six-Forty by Four-Eighty, an interactive lighting installation comprised of magnetic, movable pixels that change color through touch and communicate with their brother and sister pixels using the human body as a conduit. This sounds like a William Gibson book and that’s a very good thing.

Shabazz Palaces

Seattle’s Ishmael Butler has a cooler nickname than you (Butterfly of the Digable Planets). That’s reason enough to check out his special brand of evolved hip-hop. Fifteen years after “Rebirth of Slick,” his new project takes the traditional elements of hip-hop and mutates them with out-of-left-field samples, distorted vocal effects, and other surprises. Do yourself a favor and be there.


Has this week-long downpour got you feeling emo symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder? Well, Korean artist Minha Yang has your back. Through the use of infrared cameras and sensors, Meditation becomes an interactive space of three red reactive projections that ripple with a passerby’s movements and plays soothing sounds to create a calm, contemplative atmosphere. I got more relaxed just by writing that description.

And that’s not even the half of it. Check out the full range of artsy wonder at thecreatorsproject.com!


Emmanuel Hapsis

Emmanuel Hapsis is the creator and editor of KQED Pop and also the host of The Cooler. He studied creative writing at University of Maryland and went on to receive his MFA in the field from California College of the Arts. In his free time, he sings his heart out at karaoke.

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