Rainbow school buses, virtual sculpture gardens, TV altars, trips to Mars, and a whole bunch of bedazzled faces: III Points 2016 was effectively a pop-up city, a Willy Wonka world of weird. Inflatable crystal shards glowed under the lights while Sage The World quite literally saged the entire joint; tarot readings and tea ceremonies took place in shipping containers. Basically, III Points was designed for you to do whatever you wanted: you could watch a drone deliver blunts to Method Man and Redman or you could register to vote. The choice was yours.
Sunsets@Noon, the vaporwave mall that had people equally perplexed (“Vaporwave mall?”) and excited (“Vaporwave mall!”), felt like a daydream. Set up in a warehouse that went on forever, it indeed looked like the mall you’d remember if you grew up in the American suburbs—but the mannequins were the color of Easter eggs, the wares were locally made, and the salons left you looking otherworldly. Performances by MillionYoung, Virgo, Rat Bastard, Komakozie, and more were all illuminated in the strange colors Aileen Quintana later danced under, marbleized and aglow, in a mesmerizing trip.
For Surface Imagery, the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami screened videos inside shipping containers. The containers played into into the dystopian-future vibe that III Points owns, but also had their own functionality, effectively drowning out the loud-as-hell bass. You could hide inside if you wanted, and it was as if you weren’t at a music festival at all. Curated by Stephanie Seidel and featuring video works from Jessica Gispert, Nicolas Lobo, Domingo Castillo, Cara Despain with Agustina Woodgate, Sebastian Bellver, and Kenny Riches, each work examined the idea of image-as-place: Gispert’s El Flee features a young man discovering magic occult energy in his Miami yard; Castillo’s Surface Image explores the iconography of the city, oranges in particular.
If you headed to Wynwood Yard during III Points, you’d have spotted a heart-covered rainbow school bus, all good vibes and color. The Love Bus, organized by Jamilah Sabur, is a bus painted by a crew of Miami artists; their pop-up events are all about promoting civic engagement, immigrant rights, and racial justice movements in Florida. It was a III Points Activation, one of the festival's open events that take place around the city and never require a ticket. The bus collected donations supplies for Hurricane Matthew victims in Haiti, made space for people to register to vote (and sign pledges promising they would), and featured performances by Ali Coyote, Rara Rock Roots Rasin, and more. 01 Workshop, an education lab that provides programming for students in fields like genetic hacking and robotics, hosted a virtual reality lounge, with a dreamy performance by artist Nicole Salcedo. Salcedo utilized the movements of her body to create virtual sculptures, projected for viewers to see—there were eight cosmic structures in total, low-key alluding to chakras in color and shape.
As for the music—there were too many to enumerate here and some of the best took place before the crowds jam-packed the spot: Helado Negro, Jessy Lanza, Poorgrrrl’s whirlwind of a performance. And yes, Trick Daddy really did kill it, but really did pay two girls $100 each to make out, which was weird. (He also offered $1,000 to any ladies with a yeast infection, but alas, next year.) III Points left us so gleefully out of breath that the music ended up feeling like just one of its most significant components. We’re already psyched for next year.
Click here to learn more about III Points.