Saturday, October 16, 2010

Refractory @ Tampa Armature Works

The Old Trolley Barn, where Tampa trolleys were maintained is on the banks of the Hillsbrough River, across from Blake High School. It's a huge space, divided into three long rectangular spaces. Saturday Oct. 15th, the Refractory, a collaborative of well known Tampa Bay cultural activists including Ken Cowart, Joe Griffith, and T. Hampton Dohrman with assistance from Adam Kitzerow, Gregory Green and Ellen Mueller, put on a spectacular multi-media art exhibition and party there which I attended.

There must have been around a dozen or more projected video loops going on simultaneously. The effect was sensory overload of the best kind, defying analysis, loosening a torrent of emotions. People, myself included, walked around entranced in a space walled by moving imagery from artists like Robert Chambers, Genesis P. Orridge, Negativland, Spanky and Maureen Hudas, Richard Kern, Gerhardt Gruen, James Johnson, Clem Crowder, FaFa, Gean Moreno, Michael LeMieux, Kurt Piazza, Robb Fladry + Aaron Hutcheson, Brian Taylor, Noelle Mason and Ellen Mueller.

There was also music, some sound installations by John Russell and Yousef Danak. Genesis P. Orridge and other musicians played intense performances. One large and 2-3 small Dream Machine Installations (originally designed as a stroboscopic meditative device by the late, Bryon Gysin) were set up. The large one was about 7-8' high, a revolving cylinder with cut-outs emitting light.

An interesting short performance/mystery play with guys wearing black hoods over their heads involving a smoky chain saw, music, and dancing took place in an adjacent room. No one got too close to the performers!

It was a dynamic art happening and a great party, the kind we need more of in the Tampa Bay area. Congratulations to the Refractory, and we hope you will be doing more things like this, and soon.

A special note of thanks to Kim and Danielle.

--- Luis

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