Quad City Arts is again collaborating with the Alternating Currents Festival in downtown Davenport Aug. 19-21 to present three events: performances by Squonk, two nights of Silent Disco, and the public art project “Before I Die.”

After a successful 2021 Alternating Currents debut, Silent Disco will return to the Skybridge on Friday night and Saturday night from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Come party on the Skybridge as three DJs battle it out. Attendees will be provided headphones and are able to switch between the DJs to enjoy a variety of music. It is a unique experience where you determine the music and you choose the volume, according to a QC Arts release.

Silent Disco on the Skybridge at the 2021 Alternating Currents Festival.

It’s easy to be social because there is no music to talk over. This is an 18+ event that requires an ID to participate. DJ’s include DollMiiite, Nozco, DJ Shane Brown, DJ Yesi, V3, and DJ Genesiis.

The progressive rock meets puppetry group Squonk, from Pittsburgh, Penn., performed at last year’s Alternating Currents festival for two days. This year’s visit from Squonk will expand the number of performances by the group to six, including evening performances with illumination.

All performances will be Friday, Aug. 19, Saturday, Aug. 20, and Sunday, Aug. 21, in downtown Davenport in the parking lot beneath the Skybridge.

A Squonk hand at the Davenport Skybridge in August 2021 (photo by Jonathan Turner).

Composer Jackie Dempsey and artist Steve O’Hearn work with an ensemble of 10-20 artists to create post-industrial performances with original music, design, and staging. Their current show, “Hand to Hand,” is propelled by two giant puppet hands, each the size of a house and rigged like a sailing ship.

The Squonkers, dwarfed by the hands, climb a multi-tiered stage. Squonk’s original chamber rock drives a journey that is spectacular, plaintive, and comic, the release says. Audience members come together to grab the rigging, each individual powering a larger movement of giant fingers. For more information, visit https://squonk.org/hand-to-hand.

Squonk rocks it on the Davenport riverfront during 2021 Alternating Currents (photo by Jonathan Turner).

The Davenport show schedule for Squonk is as follows:

  • Friday, Aug. 19 at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 20 at 11:30 a.m., 7 p.m., 10 p.m.
  • Sunday, Aug. 21 at 1 p.m.

Each show is 30 minutes, followed by a “backstage tour” for audience members. Backstage tours follow each performance and are coordinated and led by members of Squonk.

New appearance of ‘Before I Die’

Quad City Arts is also placing two sets of Before I Die walls in the city of Davenport — one in front of the Figge Art Museum and one in Kaiserslautern Square. Before I Die is a global participatory public art project that reimagines our relationship with death and with one another in the public realm.

Originally created by artist Candy Chang in New Orleans after the death of a loved one, the public artwork invites people to reflect and share their personal aspirations in public. The Atlantic called it “one of the most creative community projects ever.”

“Before I Die” walls have displayed dreams at over 75 countries around the world.

People are encouraged to use the provided chalk to finish the statement, “Before I die I want to…” This interactive piece will change throughout the weekend and cause thought-provoking conversation.

There have been over 5,000 “Before I Die” walls created in more than 75 countries and over 35 languages, according to the project website.
All Alternating Currents events are free and open to the public. No reservations or tickets required. Squonk and Before I Die is open to all ages, Silent Disco is an age 18+ event.

Volunteers needed
Volunteers are needed in several roles to assist with these events. Quad City Arts is looking for volunteers to help with set up, tear down, set load in/out, manning our info tent, and chaperoning the set of Squonk during hours it’s not in use. Come join the fun of these amazing events with a behind the scenes look at the magic!

Visit https://bit.ly/3oM280k to sign up.