Technically, I am posting this the day after the event, since the bulk of it occurred in the wee hours of yesterday morning. Art Party is the brainchild of Sarah Gottesdiener and Jenny Hoyston, who debuted it during the early days of 2010 as a way to facilitate cross-disciplinary happenings that buoyed up creativity but with a big emphasis on partying and having fun—a marriage between aimless carousing and an art show. Music, dance, visuals, and fashion have all played a part in past Art Parties, but the emphasis on the TBA edition was music.
I walked in while Weed Wolf was onstage—both the name and the preponderance of animal masks on stage might be illuminated by watching this.
Or not. Weed Wolf is also a Chicago graffiti artist and a stoner movie. From a whiff or two in the beer garden I gather that some people were taking it as a directive, too. And frankly a little puff wouldn't have hurt the experience. This is one of Hoyston's projects, and while this was the only time I'd seen them, they are known for switching up their name and their instruments. Suprising, considering their proficiency in the guise they had on display for the occasion. Against the pillars of light projected behind them, it was a pretty fulfilling spectacle. Also, boobs:
Gottesdiener's band Matrimony was another hit with the audience (despite havign to contend with the venue's pretty dismal sound), a muti-layered hiphop-meets (and marries?)-pop that deployed some of the quasi-mysticism that's so popular today. White robes were worn. Incense was burned. Don't hold it against them, though.
Jarrett Mitchell's Yoga and Cigarettes was another kind of party spiritual, with Mitchell speaking in soothing tones about the breath in a yogic context, and... yep, in smoking. He invited the audience to light up right there in the auditorium, to come onstage and smoke. People did, and PICA staff quickly descended to insist the cigarettes be tamped out. After a while it got too wanker-y and I retreated to the beer garden, where I met the fabulous backup dancers who introduced themselves as the Tampon Troupe:
Backing up Bronze, they implored me to instigate a dance party during their set, but needn't have worried. The crowd was already on board, shaking too what has been aptly described as "bizarro electro-tropical." Immersive, dreamlike, and rather dark, it was almost like a Halloween party/disco for the dead. As fabulous as it was they were just a warm-up to the glittery glam clubby new wave of Light Asylum, who ended the night with a captivating projection of light and sound. The audience wasn't enormous but smattered with interesting creative types (Honey Owens, E*Rock, Ashby Collins, and Emily Baker among them)—I suspect more than a few TBA devotees' sleep deprivation was starting to catch up with them by the end of the weekend. Those who were there—and stayed to the end—lucked out.
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