HPAC busts a move for 24-hour bash

By Pete Russell

Look out for pyromaniacs, rollerblading painters, and everything New Age in a van this weekend, when the Hyde Park Art Center (HPAC) hosts its much-anticipated Creative Move: Moving Mountains. This 24-hour arts festival will be kicking off at 6 p.m. on Friday and continuing until Saturday at 8 p.m.—and the whole thing is free, even the two extra hours.

The shindig starts with the opening of Kelly Kaczynski’s latest kinetic sculpture. Kaczynski’s works are meticulously crafted; the piece that will open the festival consists of two small-scale Tatlin’s Towers made of plywood, dowels in complex trusses, and chopped-up two-by-fours glued together to form rocks.

For those of you who haven’t been studying the Third International lately, Tatlin’s Tower is a ridiculous architectural visionary project, which was supposed to be a monument to communism and never came to fruition. Besides being an interesting textural exploration, the piece features a kinetic aspect: The two towers are connected by ropes looped many times over pulleys and are also connected by strands of wood. Visitors are invited to pull at ropes dangling from either end of the sculpture. In so doing, “the participant will become the actor,” Kaczynski said. Over the course of about nine weeks the Tatlin’s Towers will slowly crunch together, which gives viewers a good reason to make return trips after the festival ends.

For those of you who think kinetic sculpture is a drag, HPAC has more lively aesthetic displays—like fire dancers. The self-described fine-art dance group Pyrotechniq will be doing tricks that will bring the local fire marshal to his therapist. More dance productions will be put on by modern improv group UC Dancers, the contemporary Synapse Arts Collective, and vogue dancer Darrell Jones. DJs will also be spinning pretty much all night, so you can strut your stuff until dawn. More sedentary types can strut their stuff too—the cash bar is open until 2 a.m.

This festival also marks the opening of the Istria Café’s new location within the HPAC building. Istria representatives will be dishing out free caffeine to fuel the party, and Geoff Watts, Istria’s coffee wizard, will be giving a “bean to cup” discussion Saturday afternoon.

Of course, no arts festival is complete without artists rollerblading with paint, glitter, and graphite on their skates to make large-scale drawings for participants to take home. The so-called Mantra Trailer will also be pulling into HPAC. The Trailer’s creator, Sherri Lynn Wood, describes her project as “parked at the intersection of imagination, evangelism, and propaganda.” It is a “traveling meditation space, recording studio, and site of mysterious broadcast and social discourse in the form of a 1972 breadbox trailer.”

Creative Move only happens once a year, and it is the perfect way to usher in the new season. You don’t have to go for the entire 24 hours, but once you step into the Mantra Trailer, you might have trouble leaving.