Original Illustration by Alexis Diaz
Rudy: “Speak for yourself. School play, crucifixion reenactment gone badly awry.”
Tonight was a night I have been excited for ever since I bought into the nerd culture as a kid. It was the screening of Art4space at the Soho Hotel. This was my first invader related event where I was not the only one excited to be there.
I could hear the quicker tempo of time exping music in my mind as I was running a few minutes (as per usual). I arrived at the hotel with 5 minutes to spare. I was disapointed as my 1-up cancelled on me early in the afternoon which has made me reconsider after a combo of blocks of no longer trying to pursue her as a 1-up (but that’s not important now). The hotel was down a side mews off Dean Street in Soho. The hotel itself felt new era trendy, with a bit of prentention thown in just because we are in Soho. The upstairs dinning room and bar was packed with what appeared to be the social scene of London, but luckily the screening was downstairs and it was less threatning. After checking in, I asked if there was a bar around to find I would have to venture back upstairs into the mess that is London’s social scene (No, thank you). I walked into a theatre space to find…an actual theatre with approximately 100 red leather seats and the Art4space logo on the screen. I took a seat and proceeded to document that I was infact an attedee (see last post). The theatre was only half full which was not surprisin as there had already been two screenings earlier in the evening. The lights dimmed signalling the start of the screening promptly at 9:00PM with stragglers slowly coming in as the film began.
It began showcasing the people involved with Invaders journey to Miami (including a shoutout to Shepard Fairey), before quickly reverting back to Invader introducing himself (with trademark blur). He spoke in a near perfect english accent which sounded like it had been slightly synthesized and topped with a slight french accent to it. His narration went over how he had now invaded over 60 cities with shots of many of his works. Hearing that he was up to 60 cities was surprising as I thought the count was around 40. Many of the shots he found are ones that I have chronicled in my adventures. It was interesting to see ‘him’ in a variety of mask, blurs, and costumes that have become trademark to his image. One mask that stood out was a Darth Vader mask (Vader = Invader…cheeky). Another interesting point was to see the amount of work he and his assistants (including many props to Jetag) put into an invasion even if they are working as part of an exhibition. The shots of him invading via hanging off buildings, climbing ladders, and even the use of reaching poles gave a new perspective of the technique he uses to invaded different spaces. There was a shot of multiple large crates with ‘MIAMI’ labelled across the side that shows the amount of material that goes into a wave.
He chronicled his first wave in Miami and the idea of Art4Space based around the theme of the space coast (aka Cape Canaviral). When he went into how they were to achieve the launch, I was taken back to my past visits to Florida when I was dating a girl from Tampa a few years back. Sadly, the relationship ended (but not until she moved to Georgia). The empty fields mixed with dense trees, ponds filled with gators, and heat rising off the earth was described by Invader much in the same way as I remember the state.
The journey to launch Space 1, it’s failure, eventual success, the failure in locating it, and eventual glory of finding it was an epic in itself. The footage of the flight was awe inspiring as it cycled between fast forward and slow motion while the invader span through the sky, passed through the white barrier of clouds, and absorbed moisture the higher it climbed. At it’s eventually peak, the rays of the sun, the serene blue glow of the earth, and dark vastness of space combined to make it feel like this piece was truly meant to conquer the beyond. But that is when the baloon popped and everything came crashing down to earth. It came down in another dizzying tailspin, passing through clouds, missing bolts of lightning, and eventually settling down back on earth.
The final shot showed the caption: Mission: Success, Location: Space 1, Identity: Art4 Space, Points: 1000.
The screening was only 20 minutes altogether. It made me think about my journeys to find invaders throughout different cities and where I would go to next (both in travels and in life). The screening comes at a time when space been on my mind as I followed Chris Hadfields mythological journey on the ISS recently, the praise the film Gravity has recieved lately (which I still haven’t seen), and having seen the BBC Radiophonic Workshop incorporate sci-fi tv show footage and real footage from past space launches at their show last weekend. Being a fanatic of Invaders work for years now meant that I was bound to love this screening no matter what. I think it gave an interesting snapshot into the icon that I have been following for years that wasn’t wrapped up in other artists projects to push the medium forward (see Exit Through The Gift Shop). Being a self proclaimed nerd, I was in my own little heaven with a big grin on my face knowing that I was able to quietly be amongst those (and their 1-ups) who have some of the same passion as me in an semi-exclusive engagement.