Friday Night: The Third Annual Amoeba Art Show Factory Party

Categories: Arts, Last Night
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Third Annual Amoeba Art Show Factory Party
March 6, 2009
Warehouse Space, 1343 Powell St, Emeryville
Review and Photos by Sam Prestianni
Better Than:
Staying home and watching Joss Whedon's pathetic return to network television.

Long before reality TV and YouTube, there was Andy Warhol, the advertising illustrator turned art star who 40 years ago prophesied that "in the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes." Many of the hundreds of beautiful hipsters, wrinkly hippies and glamorous freaks at Friday night's Third Annual Amoeba Art Show Factory Party took this message to heart, hoping to recreate some of the magic of Warhol's celebrated NYC studio space by getting up close and personal with the art on display and documenting their impromptu performances with easy-to-upload snapshots.

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If you're going to succeed in the fame game, you've got to be seen. All the pretty people know this. It's why they dressed for this gig in their grooviest outfits, vogued for the lenses of fawning strangers, shared email addresses and begged for the promise of jpgs in the morning to feed the need for Facebook updates: Look at me! I was here!

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The Velvet Underground cover bands and art-in-process silk screeners and spraypainters, cranking out Warhol caricatures ad infinitum, paled in comparison to the event's unofficial talent: the shameless hotties who embraced the throbbing graffiti wiener, licked the giant hamburger dripping with hot sauce, spread their legs beneath the blow-up Trans Am and rolled and tumbled on blacklit fur rugs. A few bold party boys also tried to get into the act, bobbing and weaving to an interactive video, whose trippy images shapeshifted like a kaleidoscope when its sensors picked up the perps on parade.

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The exhibitionism and ubiquitous documentation was new-millennium pop art at its entertaining finest. Yet it also felt like a futile stab at staving off inevitable dissolution. Sure, Hippocrates once stated, "Ars longa, vita brevis" ("Art is long, life is short"), but it seemed to me that the Factory Party's self-conscious attempts to shore up the spirit against the fear of death were ultimately unconvincing even to the participants.

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At pumpkin hour when the partygoers were ordered off the property, they looked half-dead in the unforgiving glow of the fluorescent lights. It's tough work battling mortality with a modish pose and a cellphone cam.

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Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: I never really liked Campbell's Soup.

Random Detail: Amid all the posing, there were a number of exceptional works by local artists. To peep some, check out proartsgallery.org or off-space.org.


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