The Do LaB Sets a New Bar for Experiential Art
Transformation – the number one word that comes to mind when thinking about the event and art installation company, The Do LaB. Comprised of The Flemming Brothers and hundreds of others that make their name distinct, this collective of artists, architects, musicians, dancers, and businessmen and women have taken community to a whole new level.
What started as creative lights for parties in the early 2000s has turned into mind-expanding and cutting-edge structures that can be viewed around the world today. They’ve made wings out of the traditional box of design by giving flight to the possibility of “what if?” Josh, Jesse, and Dede Flemming are indeed the new age Wright Brothers. If only Orville and Wilbur saw what family ingenuity could do with imagination and ambition at this turn of the century.
Setting themselves apart from other designers and event producers, The Do LaB creates unique architecture for performance platforms. The materials they’ve worked with to create insurmountable feats include everything from wood pallets to cardboard and even recycled materials like cans and canvas. To absorb the grandeur of their creations, one must physically experience this magnitude. Photos will do it justice, but in-person exposure will blow your mind.
The Do LaB is best known for their unique stage at Coachella, which has grown tremendously over the last 10 years to include a variety of structures and performers. And of course their own communal festival, Lightning in a Bottle (LIB). Dede tells MiLLENNiAL that this year’s Lightning in a Bottle (held over Memorial Day weekend at Lake San Antonio) celebrated their “20 year anniversary of the first party…called Flemmstock.”
On that very date in 1994, a seemingly fun weekend party thrown by then 15-year-old twins Josh and Jesse and 14-year-old Dede, acted as the catalyst for what would later become their lifelong passion and career. “We had no idea this is where we would be now, but I think deep down we knew this is what we were meant to do,” Dede says.
The Do LaB Invite All to Consider a New Lifestyle
Lightning in a Bottle is much more than a music festival. It is a spiritual journey filled with unexpected and serendipitous experiences that encourage sustainability and personal wellbeing, while promoting new ways of thinking and enjoying life. In the last 11 years, the weekend celebration has grown from 150 people to over 15,000. Jesse tells us that the best thing to come out of LIB is “getting to watch young people transform their lives.”
He follows by saying that he believes there is a shift in consciousness, especially among Millennials, and a greater awakening to different ideas. This can be seen throughout the vast amount of volunteerism that exists within the generation and the willingness to question established authorities. “We’re bringing a lot of great minds and thinkers together to share those thoughts. And there are a lot of open and receptive people here,” Jesse says of the festival guests.
Dede adds that Lightning in a Bottle has received the Greenest Festival in America award for the 4th straight year. But as the attendees continue to rave about their experiences and more people buy tickets to next year’s event, The Do LaB fears that the magic of the festival may be lost due to the over-saturation. However, Jesse says, “We’re not trying to grow exponentially. We’re not trying to go from 15,000 to 50,000. Every year we get a thousand or two thousand more, and with that natural, organic, steady growth, we can still save the magic.”
The Do LaB certainly has no issue with creating magic, let alone preserving it. As the official content creator for the brand, Russell Ward, head of publicity and the owner of The Confluence says, “They are so good at what they do. They are world renown, best in class, top of the game people.” The Confluence is responsible for producing compelling videos about the brothers’ work that entices audiences everywhere. “We’ve really been a resonance chamber for the Do Lab. So the beautiful hard work that they and many artists stacked above and below them are able to pull off, we then get to be the final layer of art. Our craft is to take it out to the world.”
With the magic that is created not only at Lightning in a Bottle but also at Coachella, the Flemmings have even gone so far as to add the newest experience to their lineup with The Great Convergence. Taking place at some remote wonder of the world, the Flemming brothers defied the odds again and brought their cultural nuances to the Great Pyramids of Egypt on December 21, 2012. With an intimate group of about 300 friends, the community converged right beside the ancient Sphinx itself. And in proper Do LaB etiquette, received permission to light up the Pyramids at night all while hosting an elegant evening of Egyptian dancers, supreme cuisine, and historical discourse. The rest of the expedition was filled with monolithic tours and river cruise sightseeing.
As Russell mentions, “To have three individuals born of one family, let alone finding three individuals sourced throughout the globe that pull off what they do, is pretty profound.” Dede explains the root of their creativity, “It really comes down to pushing the boundaries. We’ve been that way our whole lives. We’ve always just pushed things to the limit.”
The Flemming brothers not only test their ability to create the unthinkable, but they prove brotherhood can lead to greatness. “We understand each other. We can go through the trials and tribulations that partners in other businesses might not be able to overcome…and get over any challenge because we are family and that is really the best part.”