Michael Stipe will be at Moogfest this week, along with his latest multimedia creation.
The longtime R.E.M. frontman and multimedia artist will appear Saturday afternoon for a live interview/conversation with arts journalist Andy Battaglia of ARTnews. Among the topics they discuss will be Stipe's forthcoming book, "Volume 1," billed as the first in a series of publications focused on Stipe's "multifaceted artistic practice" beyond music.
The Stipe conversation happens at 5 p.m. Saturday at Carolina Theatre's Cinema 1 in downtown Durham. Admission requires a festival pass (starting at $249) or a $99 day pass. For details, check moogfest.com.
Stipe's other main piece of Moogfest business this year is "Thibault Dance," an audiovisual piece inspired by and featuring French dancer/researcher Thibault Lac. It's free to view on the ground-level exterior of the Snow Building, 335 W. Main St., in downtown Durham.
Stipe composed an original score for "Thibault Dance," which will be on display through Sunday. This will be Stipe's second consecutive year at Moogfest, following last year's debut of "Jeremy Dance."
"Creating these portraits means I get to work in video, which I love; with movement and performance, which I love; and with composing music as a reaction, which is new to me," Stipe said in a statement. "With my band I always had music to write against; in the case of these video portraits I am writing music to movement. It turns the entire process on its head. There is a trust between myself and the person I am creating a portrait of — and that relationship, that 'dance,' is important to me and to the success of the piece.
"With 'Thibault Dance,' there's clear nuance and tension. Thibault's performance is so powerful, showing immense strength — a big part of that strength being his fearlessness as a performer in allowing vulnerability, awkwardness, humanity."
Moogfest begins Thursday. Previously announced 2018 performers include KRS-One from the rap group Boogie Down Productions; German electronic duo Mouse on Mars; Italian composer Suzanne Ciani; the experimental multimedia ensemble Psychic TV; and a keynote address by soldier-turned-activist/U.S. Senate candidate Chelsea Manning.
Also, the schedule for Saturday afternoon's free outdoor stage at the American Tobacco Complex has been announced. Highlights include indie-soul singer/songwriter Moses Sumney and hip-hop deejays/producers Ali Shaheed Muhammad (from A Tribe Called Quest) and Pete Rock.
"It will be the same experience," said Jonna Humphries, who does marketing for the festival, when the sale was announced. "We have a lot of repeat attendees, people loyal to the brand. We want to try to expand on that. But as it relates to the transition, there will be no change. It's still Moogfest."