A Voyage of Growth and Discovery

By: Mike Kelley and Michael Smith

Mike Kelley and Michael Smith’s feature length video A Voyage of Growth and Discovery follows the existential journey of Baby IKKI over several days at a festival of “radical self-expression,” famous for its presentations of large-scale displays of fire, held in the remote Black Rock Desert of Nevada. Baby IKKI, pre-lingual and of ambiguous age, is a character that artist Michael Smith has been performing for over thirty years. The Baby, alone in his journey, despite being surrounded by thousands of revelers, negotiates the rave-like festival environment while also exploring the primal natural elements of fire, water, earth, and wind. The hour-and-a-half long video mirrors the annual event: four days and nights of festival, preceded by an introductory travel section, and followed by a post-festival day. The festival itself is a carnivalesque event where IKKI is subsumed in raves, faced with erotic encounters, and surrounded by multitudes of costumed party-goers —many dressed in childish attire (though none as infantile as IKKI). The culmination of the event is the spectacular public “burn,” after which the Baby is left alone to ponder his “voyage.”

Available now from ARTPIX.


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Product Details
92 minutes

Dance Beats for Baby


Released: 2009
By Mike Kelley, with Baby IKKI

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