Thursday, March 15, 2007

The warehouse insdustrial complex.

A couple of years ago, a few friends and I got together for our burning desire to have an art warehouse where we could explore and create. We found one, but it was forty miles away, in the country. It was called The Nightmare Collective because the building was on Elm street. It had two acres of land and it was near a river. It was in a little town called Forest Grove.
It was a fun time in my life. Many of us still had jobs in Portland, so we would have to take the bus to the MAX station, then another bus to where we were going in the city. It took two hours to get there, but it was accessible by mass transit. I would be on my way to Sprockettes practice in the park, and the weather would be stormy, then I would hop on the metal worm and warp zone to the city just in time to watch the storm crawl over the west hills.
We had a bunch of projects out there in the two years life span.
We converted a bunch of busses and vehicles to run on vegi-oil. Happy Cow studios set up a recording booth and sound studio. We had a depressed garden that didn't get watered enough, but the native plants grew like crazy. We built a two level "personal art studios" with a rope bridge. We called it Ewok Villiage. Before the "PAS's" got built, we had settlements called Shantytown. We would stake out parts of the greasy, oil covered floor, and we also all slept in the communal closet. Yeah, a communal closet. This one cat Leah would sleep under the place where all the clothes were hanging, with the many dresses and costumes brushing her face. I think it comforted her.
We had a sweatshop set up, a couple sewing machines, a serger that broke on the first day, and mounds of scrap fabric.
Two of the kids are in the Halloween business. They really put the nightmare in our collective. Cody wold sculp these very realistic baby faces out of clay, cast them in latex, and put them in pneumatic coffins that caused the decrepit baby to pop up out of the coffin. He made foam wrenches and swords and creepy old man faces. It was really neat to see the process.
For a while we had a blacksmith who moved in his forge. We made knives and fences and he even had an anvil. He was hella metal too.
The second summer we had a bunch of circus folks find our warehouse after the Autonomous Mutant Festival. One day, six buses showed up in the back yard. All these kids were from the SPAZ collective, and they set up a wireless zone instantly and were all on their fancy californian laptops. We had clowns teaching us stilt walking and juggling and trapeze. We kept the big doors open in the warm summer nights and played with hula hoops or had gypsy jazz jam sessions.
Every new person that came into that warehouse taught me a little skill, or in some cases, taught me how not to act.

Well, this is a really long intro to my original idea for this post.
There are currently two warehouse projects focusing on the arts, healing, and creation. We have enough creative class in portland to fill both of them up with art making machines that will benefit society.
One is called The Watershed Project and the other is called The izVilliage Complex.

I will keep you posted on future opportunities.
There are many shows and fund raisers going on as we speak.

No comments: