Another Busy Past Weekend @ Farmlab and Under Spring
Six hundred people.
That's the numerical shorthand from the past few jam-packed days at Farmlab and Under Spring, as the following happenings took place:
One hundred and fifty or so attendees sat in folding chairs Under Spring during the presentation; many first grabbing a home-cooked lunch put together by Farmlab's Cathy Ortega.
Nodal's remarks included an intriguing call for artists as disaster relief "second responders," using culture as a healing tool. He also called for more city funding for the Cultural Affairs Department, and noted that just keeping other Department heads -- from Parks & Recreation to LAPD to LAFD -- informed about culture in the city was a particularly inexpensive way to invigorate citywide awareness in the arts.
Following the speech, various academic, cultural and political leaders, professionals, and fans in attendance asked questions, chatted and caught up with longtime friends in the crowd, and re- or acquainted themselves with Farmlab and the artwork's various team members.
The first hour of the program consisted of the puppeteers wandering around, or setting up small stage areas, throughout the Farmlab offices and Under Spring venue. A Victorian-looking duo did a show out of of a box, like street buskers, next to a garage door. A five-foot-tall praying mantis puppet hung out amidst the Ag Bin Ramblas. Fish "swam" throughout the venue, roaming from near the pond that is part of the Garden of Brokenness exhibition, through Farmlab's administrative office area, and back outdoors, where an "aquarium" was projected on a wall.
Next up, an hour-long stage show took place. Starring puppet characters included an animatronic "Ah-nuld The Govenator," a pair of gruff space aliens in their ship; a trio of singing family members, a dancing, ready-to-roast fowl (trust us --- you had to be there), the Huell Howser-meets-Joan Rivers ad-libbed antics of The Countess, and various other oddities.
The evening concluded with a concert from Glank. Weren't there? Well, just think: old, converted ambulance; lots of Haz-Mat suits; drumming; makeshift instruments and crowd interaction...That help any?
All of these Farmlab and Under Spring programs are presented free-of-charge.
The puppets were part of Farmlab's now-concluded "Accidentally on Purpose" series celebrating summer and serendipity.
Please continue to check Farmlab.org for weekly Farmlab Public Salon listings, as well as other special programs like those noted above.
Note about this photo: Our apologies -- we're slow posting our shots from the weekend. This image was taken prior to all the happenings; it shows off Ag Bin Ramblas, with puppets and puppeteers who would then appear during Puppets After Hours. Farmlab Photo by James Goodnight