SENSELESS, Austen would approve

Photos by Ded Agency, Tim Sandik & Alec Donnell Luna (2016)

Photo by Ded Agency, Tim Sandik & Alec Donnell Luna

On July 9th, for the people, a label to be introduced further in the near future, held its first creative event at Evergreen Brick WorksSENSELESS


Senseless [sens-lis]
adjective

  1. Stupid or foolish, as persons or actions

Senseless…would’ve been not picking a venue that channels Toronto’s uniqueness, instead recycling the typical options  – parks, clubs. Evergreen Brick Works, unconventionally selected for this type of event, is just as rich in offering a raw, dynamic setting as it is in history. Hidden in the Don Valley, this graffiti-painted, brick & beam gem was once the birthplace of the very bricks used to build the Massey Hall and Casa Loma. Fittingly, it became the birthplace of the first for the people event.

“Over the last few years, Talal (of Toronto’s Lost Boy/Talal & Zoi) and I had many conversations about organizing a different type of event in Toronto,” recalls Asad Zaman, one half of the for the people masterminds. “Last summer’s tour through Europe inspired him and Zoi even more. A group of us decided it was time to act.”

SENSELESS @ Evergreen Brick Works, Toronto: 3D stage mapping by Nu Spaces, installation by Sofia Eleni; Photos by Ded Agency, Tim Sandik & Alec Donnell Luna (2016)

SENSELESS @ Evergreen Brick Works, Toronto: 3D stage mapping by Nu Spaces, installation by Sofia Eleni; Photo by Ded Agency, Tim Sandik & Alec Donnell Luna

Senseless…would’ve been inviting back the same musical talent we see flowing through Toronto every summer, consistently luring in the same crowd, making it all too easy for this to be just another festival to [not] attend. For the people and team found a way to bring locals like Nature of Music (Sudbeat), Nitin (No.19) and Alberto Jossue (WLP) on the same stage as  TEED (UK), Tube & Burger (Berlin), Frank & Tony (USA) and Rodriguez Jr (France) to name just a few on the impressive line up.

Senseless…would’ve been to focus on just the music, to have yet another rave-esque Saturday under the sun, sold out but perhaps missing the point. The organizers consciously chose to avoid the financial appeal and to address the details, the often neglected senses, instead. This was evidenced by the carefully chosen food stands like Leaf + Bone and Penthouse Catering, the SubPac backpacks to help you feel the music vibrate through your bones and the VR booth for those craving an even more immersive experience.

“We’ve read somewhere that scents like orange and peppermint can actually have a positive impact on club-goers, perhaps making them dance more,” laughs Zaman, “we paid attention and partnered up with AromaTech to test this theory out.”

Senseless…may have seem the art works carefully curated by a local artist Amal Peerzada. Except…

…Except that Simon Falk‘s animated visuals were intentionally aligned with the already graffitied Brick Works space, working to transform the hall behind the main stage into a study of colour and shape. “I’m influenced by 80s graphic design, fashion and pop-art,” admits Falk. The visuals became the day’s favorite backgrounds for selfie takers and photographers alike. Peerzada’s own  work depicting characters who swim in their heads were on display and further complimented by Shaheer Zazai’s projected recordings of intricate patterns created in …Microsoft Word!

“I began this project on Jan 1, 2013, while working at an office day job, frustrated by the boredom of the MS Office applications,” admits Zazai. “Yet the restrictions inherent to MS Word provided for a sequence of characters, which when highlighted in different colours, are repeatable and similar in appearance to carpet weaving patterns.” The logic behind Zazai’s exhibit alone is mind-blowing and warrants a more thorough study.

Projection by Niki S. Photo by Ded Agency, Tim Sandik & Alec Donnell Luna

Projection by Niki S. Photo by Ded Agency, Tim Sandik & Alec Donnell Luna

…Except that for the people team wasn’t senseless in the foolish meaning of the word.

“Every festival is seeking to get a reaction from its audience. Many attend events to take their mind off things. Often a full immersive experience is promised and yet you get onsite and there’s a candle and a picture of a donkey backing a huge headliner,” jokes Zaman. “We thought, why not go all the way? Why not challenge ourselves and push for that full appeal? When all your senses are stimulated, you go into a state of being that we call senseless.”


Senseless [sens-lis]
noun

  1. A state in which all senses are stimulated, leaving you senseless; July 9, 2016 @ Evergreen Brick Works for the people

Tube & Berger (UK); Photo by Ded Agency, Tim Sandik & Alec Donnell Luna

Tube & Berger (UK); Photo by Ded Agency, Tim Sandik & Alec Donnell Luna

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