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Another day in Paradise, p2 bicycle generator adventures

Art Outside 2008

03.11.08 | 1 Comment

Art Outside 2008…

What could I possibly even say? This was a memorable experience to say the least…

We started off with 7 people traveling in a 1987 Chevy Astro Van and a newer Jeep Cherokee to Nashville Tennessee where we picked up Gene. From there, the 8 of us went the remainder of the 1,234 mile trek to Austin Texas for Art Outside in the Enchanted Forest. Our journey was an arduous one at that, but the people in this crew were up for the task, and what’s better than spending 24 hours on the road with a close group of friends.

The Enchanted Forest is a crazy kind of place that you might expect to find in any number of apocalyptic tales. Its reminiscent of a mad max film though artists occupy these woods, not renegades. The forest lies in a rather peculiar spot in between a suburban neighborhood and a populated business district. Just beyond the forest trains travel throughout the day and you can hear their whistles blowing hard as they chug around “dead mans curve” (given its name because many people have decided to end their lives there on the tracks). Graffiti walls and random debris surround the area. If you look along the banks you’ll see a buried car and empty paint cans from the night before.

I couldn’t imagine a better place to have such an event. The hospitality and appreciation were enormous. The people were productive and energetic. The setting was majestic and enchanting.

The Columbus Crew: Top: Tina Matthews / Gendala Kelli / Eve Warnock Mid: Gene Felice / Sean Connor / Nate Reese / Bottom: Dan Olsen / Nathan Ober

All Set up for Friday Nights Opening. Mult-layered, semi-transparent materials stretched between trees became our video canvas and performance back drop for the event.

Behind the scenes pre-setup. (Queen Mae and The Bells outdoor sewing studio)

Dan checking out the gear

Nate and Sean behind a tree while we set up projections for the Queen Mae and the Bells main stage performance.

Tina rockin out in our makeshift home after the show.

Friday night coming to an end,

and bottles of cheap red wine exchanging hands.

One of my favorite pieces at Art Outside: 2 Piano guts strung across a gorge illuminated with fiber optics. You could pluck the strings or use mallets and the sounds would travel across to the other side. The majestic melodies resonated throughout the night in every corner of the Enchanted Forest.

And Saturday Begins: Arron Geiser moving about the forest with camera in hand.

Eve hard at work

a moment of silence

Saturday night setting up

P2 ready to go, but not after some minor troubles. One of our batteries blew up Friday after a bucket was set on top during transit. This caused the positive and negative terminals to connect and eventually short out the battery, which in turn burnt a hole in the bottom of the bucket. Luckily this was a new Optima Battery, anything else may have actually exploded and caused major catastrophe. But alas, no one was hurt and all ended well.

This was not the only electrical problem of the night. This time it was the main power to the forest. Apparently, the wiring was not ready for as much juice as it’s vendors had been using. The main electrical power surged and actually caught on fire causing about an hour and a half of power loss to half of the woods. It’s funny how you build a bicycle generator and then there comes a time when it is actually a very useful thing to have. We were the only ones on the front section that had lights. Our plans and wiring diagrams are available at: www.p2cycles.com

another exterior shot of the our site.

Yay! Technology in the woods…

Equipment used:

  • 3 LCD projectors
  • multiple cameras including the newly installed p2 wireles cam
  • 2 macbook pro laptops
  • 1 RoeVy Desktop
  • PylePro Battery operated PA System
  • 4 low watt energy conserving bulbs
  • P2 Bicycle generator

Gene hiding behind his creation

This outdoor environment was perfect for a screening of Homeslice, which surprisingly drew audiences from all around.

A whale in the trees…

Our makeshift stage quiets down in preparation for Dr. Sustain.

contorting faces numbing the crowd,

Enter Queen Mae and the Bells,

A stage in the middle of the woods creates an intriguing setting for QMB’s 2nd performance.

Some lady sat right in front of the projector (right bottom side)

Danzo Danzo in the woods,

Danzo Happy and Triumphant,

Wait a minute… Something is in there.

This was our last night at Austin’s Enchanted forest. To end our presence at the forest we had a little dance party and drank a bit of whiskey and brew. While everyone else went to sleep I wondered about and explored the other sites. The people in Austin were very friendly. The event had brought artists from all over the world to share their work, be it performance, installation or workshop.

After a long day and somewhere around 4am, the leftover campers and artists gathered around a fire pit to sing pirate songs, share friendly conversation and enjoy the warmth of a flickering fire. The Enchanted Forest was a hobo village in the early 1900′s and some remnants can still be felt while starring into the fire’s light. Maybe its still somewhere in the forest or just within the tales that be told. This experience will never be forgotten. Of all the pictures I took some of the most memorable were incapable of capturing or even speaking. A campfire in the Enchanted Forest with strangers and friends alike is one of those moments.

Sunday was a very sobering day.

About 3am we stopped in Arkadelphia to change drivers and then the inevitable happened. The Astro Van’s water pump blew up and we were stuck. Our 8 people posse crammed into a Days Inn and waited till morning to hear of the Astro Vans fate. Fortunately, there was a little Mom and Pop mechanic shop right next to where the astro broke down. They had the water pump we need and were happy to get us in right away. 206 dollars and a few hours later the Astro was back in action!

Waffle House was our sanctuary while we awaited for our transit.

Dan looking happy for the Astro’s return.

Stuffing the Van full,

On the Road again.

Water Pump fixed but the plexi-glass window I made still causing problems as Gene tries to keep it from flying out onto the freeway.

And our adventure leads us back to where we started, but with a little more experience and a whole lot of love. Next Year I’m staying for good.

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