I was fortunate enough to be invited toand be on the guest list for the second of this years WarmUp series at the contemporary art center P.S.1 in Long Island City, just a brisk 20-minute walk from my Astoria apartment. It was a good thing I was on the guest list too. The guest list entitles its namesakes to free beer. It was needed. I thought I knew what to expect from a contemporary art rock party and for the most part I was right…it was exactly how I imagined it. But imagining such a thing by default sets you outside of the thing, looking in. You don’t get the feeling of a place, the scent in your nose, the air of a place and the aura, touching your skin. You can’t feel the cold of air-conditioner water splashing your face, or taste the soap of toy bubbles in your beer from imagination alone.
Art-people are fucking nuts. Insane. All of them. And I won’t hesitate to describe half of them as quite literally thus. My friend Chris described the scene as the “dirty” part of a party evening. That period of time when nothing is coalescing, when nothing is gelling. Every thing’s awry. Bodies thrash unnaturally about out of time with the art-punk music. Art bands rip songs to shreds on-stage then pose melancholically sheepish at photo-ops off stage, sucking their necklaces and fossy-ing their pointed leather art-boots stemming from skin tight black jeans under the swelter of a 90 degree glam-art midday sun. It was an odd scene to behold. It was the feeling that no-one here were themselves an artist, but that everyone definitely knew someone who “was gonna be really hot.” Art groupies. They throw all the best parties.
Thank goodness the beer was free.
I had a great time.