Transmodern Festival celebrates 10 years in Charm City

May 2, 2013

How does a local arts festival get to be 10 years old without anyone in Washington having heard about it? By taking place in Baltimore.

Okay, okay, so some of the District's cool kids already do know about the Transmodern Festival, which opens today and runs through Sunday at multiple venues in Baltimore's Bromo Tower Arts and Entertainment District. But it's still pretty much under the radar of most non-hipster Washingtonians in a way that Saturday's annual Kinetic Sculpture Race no longer is. That's probably just the way the festival's organizers like it.

This year's edgy celebration of avant-garde, experimental and otherwise hard-to-define-let-alone-describe art, music, performance and miscellaneous weirdness includes an "olfactory seance"; an inflatable outdoor sculpture installation on the theme of female toplessness called the "Breastival Vestibule"; and a performance by the Baltimore band the Snails (pictured above), who describe their sound as "Teletubby reggae pop."

The festival takes place in and around Maryland Art Place's satellite gallery at 218 W. Saratoga St. (home of MAP's 14 Karat Cabaret) and the Current Gallery, located a short distance away at 421 N. Howard St. You'll find a full schedule and additional information here.

Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Michael O’Sullivan has worked since 1993 at The Washington Post, where he covers art, film and other forms of popular — and unpopular — culture.
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Tim Carman · May 2, 2013