enculturating las vegas into the next millennium... art, dance, film, music, poetry, theater, history, nature and everything else that enriches the lives of those who live and visit southern nevada... Since 2003...

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Halloween: Sights, Sounds and Things in the Ground

It's Halloween in Vegas. That means loud music, evil divas and a locally-made box to lay in when you finally snuff it.

Friday the 27th: Party up with Molly at Famous John's. From her site...

''Halloween Fest! ...come down to Famous John's for a special night with the NIGHT SHAKERS (featuring Grant Larsen of the Latest Flames) and hear me spin some WICKED ROCK N' ROLL!  252 Convention Center Dr. (in the Sommerset Plaza) 696-9722  No Cover, however donations are much appreciated!  10 p.m.''

Saturday the 28th: Local Fetish photographer Justice Howard will be unveiling her latest work, "Evil Divas," at the Las Vegas Fetish and Fantasy Halloween Ball.

"Yes, yes, I would make a series of posters harkening back in feel and flavor to the Horror B-Movie posters of the 1950’s and 1960’s era when exploitation and sensationalism were the hot promotional selling points. An era when horror movies had fun and fantasy, back when they had tush and titties."

You can read about Ms. H in her Eros-Zine interview. And you can check out posters of the tushes and titties on this page with links of the naked and the evil.

If you still haven't had enough music, there's Sin City Sounds' "Fright Night" with The Swank Bastards, Skorchamenza, Sin City Grind Kittens Burlesque and The Bargain DJ Collective at Matteo's Restaurant and Underground Lounge.

Lastly, you're all going to die. And when you do, why not support Nevada business by purchasing a fine coffin or casket from Coffin It Up. Don't know the difference between a coffin and casket? Pahrump locals Bryan and Dusty Schoening explained this and more in the rather nice Review-Journal article Flirting With Death.

Happy Halloween!

posted by Mr. Kimberly at | 1 Comments

Friday, October 22, 2004

Atomic Testing Museum: New Show and Future Plans

In a city that is seen as both an American expression of capitalism and a toxic waste dump of bad behavior, a museum dedicated to Nevada’s nuclear history and material culture is right at home. An atomic museum is a most Vegas of museums.

The Atomic Testing Museum started out as the Coordination and Information Center, also known as the Nuclear Testing Archive. The center was previously based at the Bechtel Nevada industrial complex in North Las Vegas, with its purpose being “to collect and make available all historical documents, records, and data dealing with radioactive fallout from all U.S. testing of nuclear devices.” Along with the gallery spaces, the new Atomic Testing Museum, located on the first floor of the Frank H. Rogers Science and Technology Building, is now home to the public reading room and continues to serve the same purpose as information clearing house. In addition to the more pleasurable digs, the new space eliminates one unique experience that the Lossee Road location had: a car search by Wackenhiut security officers (which the author was privileged to have a couple of years ago) before being allowed on the Bechtel property.

The museum is home to two gallery spaces, one now open and the larger permanent exhibition still being installed with a tentative opening date of February 2005. With full-size recreations of caves and testing equipment, the large set pieces emulate the strategy of local casinos by creating an immersive themed environment. Until completion, the museum’s website provides computer generated images of what visitors will find. What they won’t find are rows of display cases or static rooms full of pictures. Instead, they will find encompassing environments, meant to surround the visitor and provide them with a sense of context. Underground bomb testing tunnels and control rooms are amongst some of the larger exhibition elements. And some of the largest artifacts taken from the Nevada Test Site had to be put in place before the museum’s completion and the building finished around them.

The other exhibition room is open now and hosting a new show, “Nuclear Landscapes,” by University of Nevada, Reno Professor Peter Goin. This show is a good example of how the museum is not a mouthpiece for the nuclear industry, telling solely a positive take on weapons development. The show is a nuclear travelogue, detailing atomic testing’s legacy on assorted blast sites and the man-made structures that were laid waste. The result would be a poignant exploration of the destructive power of man’s taming of the atom if it weren’t for one thing: the addition of black text on each photograph with a short title or description. Either someone was concerned that the pieces weren’t able to fully convey some sort of meaning or they were meant to take the place of proper labels, which were provided for this exhibition. Whatever the reason, the text kills the photo’s ability to fully act as a document of the scene, be it an island beach with twisted metal or a scorched desertscape. The qualities of these pictures, the beauty of the various locations, and the seriousness of the topic deserve better than to be defused in such a clumsy manner.

The small exhibition hall serves the purpose of being a location for display and education. But the room lacks good looks, and what is missing is a gallery aesthetic. This isn’t stopping the museum from contemplating more ambitious shows, and Jim Sanborn is an artist they are aware of. His "Atomic Time" exhibition would be a perfect complement to the Atomic Museum. Based on the Manhattan Project, it’s a collection of recreations, reproducing as much as possible the equipment used for early atomic tests. Not just content to mimic the appearance of the testing equipment, he actually recreates it, using materials to make the originals. The 1998-2003 piece “Device for Measuring the Neutron Flux of a Uranium Core” is made of paraffin blocks, chromium, stainless steel, brass, detector probes, oscilloscope, simulated hydraulic lift, wire, sound, and deuterium gas cylinder. The artist’s gallery would prefer another gallery play host to the works, so the museum would need to find a Vegas partner. It would take considerable time and effort, but bringing in an artist of Sanborn’s stature and a display of this kind would really raise the bar, and work towards cementing Vegas’s reputation as the burgeoning arts community it’s been claiming to be.

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Friday, October 15, 2004

Poetry + Books - Article = This

There once was a nice article
that was accidentally deleted by a nice spouse
so have this abbreviated article on the house.

Dayvid Figler on KNPR... KNPR's State of Nevada - Program Detail
Vegas Valley Book Fest... Vegas Valley Book Festival
Lewis Ave. Poetry Shin-Dig... Written In Stone - Lewis Avenue Poetry Cafe Under The Stars
Outdoor Ghost Town Art Museum Anniversary Fest... Goldwell Open Air Museum Events

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Thursday, October 07, 2004

First Friday: Not Too Bad...

So, First Friday came and went. The second anniversary of Vegas' art district celebration included the opening of Godt-Cleary, the second Vegas artist-sponsored event, and imported shenanigans of the Pacific Arts Collective.

First, Godt-Cleary: Big, white, and full of art, the new Godt-Cleary space has everything that a gallery is supposed to have. Anyone who had seen the gallery still unfinished just a day or two before Friday was surprised that it was open on time. Apparently, Dennis Hopper usually oversees the installation of his gallery shows, but he was absent for this one. While the art made its way to the walls, when Mr. Hopper sees the show it will be interesting to see if he is "Easy Rider" or "Search and Destroy".

The Las Vegas Community Artists Group LCC had their second Spaced Invaders after-hours invasion of Snick's Place and the Aloha Laundromat. From their website...

"Our second SPACED INVADERS First Friday after party was a HUGE hit! We had about 250 people there in the course of the evening and everyone we've spoken with had a blast. "

There is a surprising beauty to the colorfully lit laundromat. The outside was a slight contrast with a suicide-themed film as part of the Shithoof Film Group's showing of locally made films.

And finally, the Pacific Art Collective brought artcars, performers, and blacklight paint. They shared the street in front of the Funk House, along with the growing collection of local artists hawking their wares. Have you bought a Moon Monster yet? Perfect for Halloween.

It's interesting to see more events and spaces migrating away from the Arts Factory. It's indicative of the maturing of the Arts District, with both the converted apartments of Drey's Place and the Aloha Laundromat as examples of the unexpected places in which groups are finding homes for their events in the neighborhood.

posted by Mr. Kimberly at | 1 Comments