Sunday, November 21, 2004

The Oracle Gathering

The People Are United
Segway Space, Seattle, WA

A pop opera singer, holding a big orb thing and wearing a silver space suit adorned with blinking lights, is suspended ten feet in the air. She is carrying on a talking/singing dialogue with a Blue Man/Borg type dance troupe behind her. The woman to my left in the flowered leggings and rollerskates is rapt, but the four year old boy to my right has fallen asleep. Though maybe I should back up.

We are at The Oracle Gathering - a multi-media and multi-art party-rave-can't-really-define-it event. This is the 16th one this group has hosted, and it's big. Like being held in a converted Safeway big.

The crowd is fascinating and diverse (though not so much racially as this is Ballard). You've got your young raver kids who my friend calls The Ballard Rave Brigade, you have parents and children who get their own play room (which the incredibly pied will later take over), and you have the bedecked and undecked public, including guys in their 50s. Add to that the various stilt walkers, hula-hoop dancers, and silver body paint jumpy guys, and you've got yourself a party. A party for which I was far, far too sober.

Each room has its own theme and name, and there are little side rooms where people offer services like "DNA transformation" and consciousness scans and such. Lots of people walk by me and make "are you?" eye contact, to which I try to respond with the "I am not" look so that we don't have to make out right there. There is glitter and fake fur everywhere, and one of my friends has Bedazzled her neck and chest.

The gathering tonight has a Space Traveler theme, and it includes a "geopolitical rock opera" called The Device. Its director is an overachiever who takes this stuff very seriously, so there's a lot going on in the show. We all sit on the dance floor and scoot around in circles to watch the action in every part of the room. About halfway through the show the Ballard rave kids start glazing over, but some of the really fancy sparkly people get WAY into the audience participation & chanting parts. People love the human beatbox guy and the other guy who looks like a young Henry Rollins.

Despite the high volume and the occasional pot clouds, it's a positive atmosphere all around. The kids who are still awake are having a great time, the performers give you "heart touches" or pet you, and by the end of the rock opera we feel like maybe our consciousness really IS raised, just for tonight.


Blogger Ariel said...

I was there (and sober) as well! For those who want some photographic evidence of The Fanalysts crowd description, take a peek over here.

8:51 AM  

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