Two more drive-ins announced, but one with a twist

Courtesy imageJak Ritger, Earthquake by Kim Gordon, No Home Record, 2019. Digital video. "Earthquake", directed by Loretta Fahrenholz, was shot from the eye of a surveillance camera, which gradually devours the exterior world and ejects a pixelated palette of digital shapes, graphical measurements and heat signatures onto the screen.

SALEM — Two more drive-ins have been scheduled in Salem, but one will go beyond the city-run movie experience North Shore residents have come to expect.

City leaders, Creative Collective and Salem State University will host a pop-up "Digital Art Drive-In" at the O'Keefe Sports Complex off of Canal Street Friday, Aug. 14. The event was announced alongside plans for the city's third drive-in movie, "Edward Scissorhands," which will run at the same location on Friday, Aug. 7, at 7:30 p.m.

The art drive-in will "present a 90-minute screening of experimental new works by a variety of regional media and video artists, and a selection of six independent light projections," an announcement on the event read.

It will run at the sports complex from 8:30 to 10 p.m. It's being run in tandem with AREA CODE, a New England-based art fair dedicated exclusively to regional artists. It's curated by Leonie Bradbury, a curator-in-residence at Emerson College, and sponsored by LuminArtz, a nonprofit that "highlights local and regional artists who create innovative light art experiences."

The 90-minute event will spotlight 19 projects ranging from 30 seconds to 11 minutes long. They'll include music videos with experimental visuals, a documentary and "digital glitch art," which puts work through "a variety of software or apps" to create something entirely different.

"These are artists who are intentionally glitching or interrupting the image or moving image to create something new for aesthetic purposes," Bradbury said. "Part of the vibe of the night, really, is experimentation and diversity, and it's going to be an immersive environment where, if you're looking to the left, you know it's going to be a kaleidoscope of images and, if you look to the screen, there's going to be a rapid sequence of dynamic content."

The drive-in series of events, largely an effort between City Hall and the Creative Collective, has been a hit over the last few years. This year, events have moved from the side of the Coast Guard hanger at Winter Island to the more spacious O'Keefe parking lot, due in part to COVID-19.

While those bring family favorite movies to the drive-in format, the digital drive-in will provide a platform for artists hurt by the ongoing global pandemic, according to Karen Gahagan, director of Salem State's Center for Creative and Performing Arts.

"Part of what we do in our academic year, a normal year, would be some combination of real-live performance by students, by faculty, by guests," Gahagan said. "When this surfaced, John (Andrews, executive director of Creative Collective) and I were talking about something else. I was like, 'wow' — this is such a unique opportunity to embrace what's going on right now, to bring creative work to people in a safe way."

For the Aug. 14 digital drive-in, tickets are free but necessary to attend and can be obtained at For the Aug. 7 "Edward Scissorhands" drive-in, tickets are $25 per vehicle and can be purchased at

Contact Salem reporter Dustin Luca at 978-338-2523 or Follow him on Facebook at or on Twitter @DustinLucaSN.


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