Survival Research Labs and Vegas; Final Words
When SRL announced a Vegas event, many were happy. So, when the show was cancelled, many were equally disappointed. With the show's cancellation came some questions. Now here are some of the answers.
Mark Pauline, founder of Survival Research Labs, "When I realized that the LV Fire Dept was becoming involved two weeks ago, I specifically asked for a written agreement from them permitting an unrestricted SRL show, not an open burning permit that allowed the fire dept control over my show.
I agreed to do this event because I was assured that only the university Fire Dept would be involved and that they would allow us to do an unrestricted event.
I cancelled this show because the LV fire dept would not provide me with a written agreement to allow me to operate the machines we wanted to bring down for this event. They also would not agree in writing to a maximum of 25 feet from the audience to the edge of the show. (They in fact asked for a 300 foot distance and reserved the right to remove machines from the show or to determine how I was to use them in the show. For instance, they wanted to be able to determine what the ratio of gasoline to diesel in fuel mixtures was to be.....)
At SRL we do not compromise regarding the content or nature of the event. This may seem unusual and impractical in a world of endless compromises and half moves, but its the way SRL has always conducted business...
Finally, I would be paying $70,000 of my own money, earned by hard work to stage this event. No grants or trust funds. If I had come to LV and decided that the Fire Dept was not acting in good faith and backed out then, I would have lost every penny of that money, as ticket monies were held by the university until after the show. All in all a risk not worth taking."
Robert Wysocki, Assistant Professor UNLV Art Department, "...actually as these things go they, CCFD (Clark County Fire Department) is very supportive as was/is the Sam Boyd Stadium people and UNLV."
and the last words from Joshua Ellis, Zenarchery, Las Vegas City Life, "...Having seen SRL perform...Mark was dead on the money... ...It's like refusing to allow an audience to get closer than 50 feet from a concert stage. It reduces art to spectacle.
I've known the SRL people for years, and I was afraid something like this would happen. It's a shame nobody in the arts community could be bothered to fight to get these restrictions removed -- SRL is one of the most consistently interesting performance groups out there."