Last night was the big SubZero street festival portion of Zero1. South First Street was closed for about four blocks in the SoFA district of San Jose, and many artists showing off their contraptions and work had set up. I took a walk down the street several times and captured some of the work.
Graffiti Research Lab was visibly present, both with some of their work on display on the street and in the Anno Domani gallery, with a show called “The U.S. Department of Homeland Graffiti Liquidation Sale”. Some of the work was a spoof on the LED sign scare in Boston a year ago, in which GRL was quickly and wrongly implicated. So nice to see Osama Bin Laden and George W Bush giving each other the finger in LED style.
Inside the gallery DJ Spooky (aka Paul D Miller) gave a talk about his new book and remix culture. He manages to connect the dots between many the history of the remix and how embedded it has become into our culture. I didn’t stick around to buy the book, though I plan to soon, because I was headed down to MACLA for a performance of Flock.
Upon entering the performance space for Flock, you’re given a black hat with a glowing white orb on the top and told to walk up to the stage. Just above the stage, there is a projection visualizing all the orbs on-screen, and with enough distinguishing movement, you can figure out which dot represents your orb. After a bit of play, the real performance begins. Four musicians playing saxophones eventually made the way on stage, each outfitted with an iPaq connected to a WiFi network, transmitting an ever-changing score of what they should be playing. Three dancers with white orbs eventually emerged, and began moving around the stage area. Their orbs combined with the movement of the musician’s orbs changed the score dynamically. Over the course of the show the method of generating music changed, from a simple cross-screen wipe, to something akin to radar, and also a connect-the-dots style graph. The audience was pulled in one at a time by the dancers through the performance as well, and were instructed to move around and generate the sound. At one point a conga line formed, and at another several people grabbed hands and began circling one of the musicians, overloading him with notes to play. In this way, the social interaction people engaged in to generate the music was more interesting than the music itself.
There were also low-rider art bikes on display. The display was no Minneapolis Art Car Parade, but still fun to see the weird things people do to their cars. The bikes in particular looked very slick. I’m afraid if I had a bike that nice, I’d never ride it.
Another performance on the street that always had a crowed was Drone Machines, operated by “Author & Punisher” Tristan Shone, consisting of several very industrial looking contraptions that as the description notes, “require significant physical interaction from the performer” to operate:
Minneapolis Art on Wheels has also been around the festival, but they were out in force last night at SubZero, at several different locations down First street and side streets. They even had one of MAW’s bikes rigged up with GRL’s L.A.S.E.R. Tag system and a crowd gathered around watching and waiting to tag. Everyone had a good laugh when a squad car drove by with an officer glared out the window at us.