Illuminating the Forest: Spotlighting the Artists of Electric Forest 2023

In the dreamlike expanse of Michigan’s rural landscape, nestled within the wilderness of Double JJ Resort in Rothbury, there exists a mystical place, a realm that transforms once a year into a living, breathing organism of sound, light, and energy. This wonderland goes by the name Electric Forest, a four-day carnival of huge proportions, where art, music, nature, and humanity unite in a vibrant rhythm. In 2023, Sherwood Forest reemerged from the Electric Forest, drawing a legion of seekers into its mesmerizing vortex of creativity and visual expression.

Every tree, every particle of air seems infused with a kind of creative vigor that would make even Van Gogh’s starry nights seem dull. Behind this are the artists – these wild dream-weavers who, for four pulsating days, inject our realities with their daring visions and dreams. You might catch a familiar glimmer here and there, an artistic echo that tugs at your heartstrings. But hold onto your hats, fellow forest wanderers, because we’re about to dive deep into the rabbit hole and shed light on those unsung heroes whose strokes of genius help create this electrifying symphony we lovingly call Electric Forest. Hang on, it’s going to be a wild ride. Without further adieu…

Among the magicians of art who graced the forest was Daniel Popper, you may have seen his work causing a stir at the likes of Burning Man, and for a good reason. Popper’s installations aren’t just big in size—they’re colossal in impact. Each piece he crafts is a visual opera, an immersive spectacle that holds you captive, demanding you drink in every detail. Popper’s creations, such as “Ephemera” and “Mycelia”, are more than mere sculptures—they’re gateways to other dimensions, conduits to an introspective voyage that pushes the viewer to examine their consciousness. It’s not just the size or the spectacle that makes Popper’s installations stand out; it’s the emotional landscapes they traverse, the philosophical terrains they explore. His pieces aren’t just seen; they’re experienced, felt, and above all, remembered.

Daniel Popper – Instagram

Dark Moon Designs, an innovative venture steered by the creative minds of Natalia Janusz and Paul Thomas, also wove a captivating tapestry across the Forest with their dynamic and transformative installations. A crowd favorite, the Ocular Organ, once again made its appearance in the Forest, inducing awe with its complexity and design. Alongside this, the newest creation, Light Lures, nestled in the whimsical stretch of Loxley Lane, added a fresh dimension to the landscape of Sherwood Forest.

Dark Moon DesignsInstagram

Stephen Rhoades marked another successful year with his remarkable installations. This festival season witnessed the triumphant return of Rhoades’ Infinity Temple and his debut piece, The Portals. However, it was the introduction of a new marvel, “The Obelisk,” that made the year particularly significant. This grand spectacle, planted by unseen hands in the heart of Sherwood Forest, emanated an enigmatic energy. The Obelisk stood as a beacon of intrigue and marvel, studded with thousands of LED lights, radiating an unmissable glow. This 16-foot installation was a testament to Rhoades’ knack for crafting monumental spectacles that not only capture the eye but captivate the soul.

Stephen RhoadesInstagram

The Gallery Society (TGS) stamped its mark, adding yet another layer of visual marvel to the festival experience. Operating on-site in myriad ways, the TGS team revealed their stunning activations in progressive stages, generating buzz and anticipation among attendees in the lead-up to the event. Some of their past installations may ring a bell to the seasoned festival-goer, such as the captivating Apex Portal or the luminous Crystal Cathedral dome. 

The Gallery SocietyInstagram

The Bioluminescent Mushrooms. A unique collaboration between Subloominal, Voxeleyes, and Melena Aurora, the Bioluminescent Mushrooms demanded a concoction of artistry, creativity, and science. To bring this magical installation to life, the artists embarked on a journey of cultivating their own mushrooms, scanning them in 3D, printing them, and finally transforming them into a color-changing masterpiece that enthralled the senses. For those whose hearts were enchanted by the magical mushroom tree last year, this year was a spectacular successor. 

SubloominalInstagram Voxeleyes – Instagram Melena Aurora Instagram

Showstarters Entertainment artfully threaded a strand of playful enchantment that truly defined the spirit of the festival. Their performances, brimming with charisma and whimsy, added a splash of color to the festival’s canvas, forging moments of unadulterated joy and wonder that lived on in the memories of the attendees.One such remarkable performance that struck a chord with the festival-goers was the show-stopping spectacle by the ‘Coo Koo Clock Ladies’. With their radiant energy and spellbinding artistry, these performers transformed the festival ground into a playground of delightful surprises. Dressed in all their thematic finery, they roamed the Electric Forest, intertwining with the crowd, and creating an atmosphere of contagious cheer and warmth.

Showstarters Entertainment – Instagram

As wanderers journeyed through Electric Forest 2023, it became evident that this festival is a testament to humanity’s shared capacity to dream, create, and connect on an elemental level. This event is not just a festival; it is a parallel universe, where the raw, vibrant, and electrifying celebration of LIFE & ART takes center stage.

– Scene Kid

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