The party at the end of the world
From Burning man to Detroit in time for the rapture
Published: May 18, 2011
Doyle watched for a moment, remarking, "They're a good crew."
But on this day, after dangerous stunts without any injuries, and after burning whole half palettes all night without harm, Doyle becomes a casualty. Bitten by a spooked dog, he breaks two fingers and picks up nine stitches, as well as a few hours at Detroit Receiving Hospital. For a while, it seems Doyle won't be able to go pick up "The Regurgitator" from Newark, N.J., and the irony is literally painful.
Waiting for the end of the world
Doyle's hand has healed up, and the trip to pick up the pulse jet is back on track. But things get more complicated on Sunday, when Canilao and Bartlett spend a night in jail after participating in a community revitalization project. Despite their energetic efforts to clean up the city — with a view toward providing children's art programs similar to those they were already doing in the Bay Area — the two take a break after 16 hours of neighborhood cleanup and visit an abandoned school building — considering perhaps buying it for future projects — when they're arrested by DPS security. They are released Monday morning after a local attorney intercedes on their behalf. Unfortunately, charges of entering without owners' permission may be pending, and it's ironic, given the twosome's sincere attitude and dedication to improving the city. For the moment, though, it seems it was just a minor roadblock on the way to Saturday's party.
Because, despite their urban spelunking, the goal for this confederation of artists is to create a serious art space, where Doyle and crew can make work for international shows while taking a few apprentices under their wing. He says he's open to other volunteers to come in and work on art projects, so he can tour with the dragon and show it while having a crew run shop as an art studio and workshop. Much like the way he learned laboring for other artists, he's trying to pass on knowledge about welding, forming, cutting and shaping metal safely. At the new artist hostelry, he hopes artists can come, stay a month, and do a show. He's following in the footsteps of others, such as Flynn, who left San Francisco eight years ago to came back to Detroit, buy a building, and work as a machinist-fabricator-artist.
Doyle just says he's been lucky. Coming up as unconventional, anti-capitalist, anti-sellout type of artist, he never had a business plan, especially in art school, feeling the pressure to keep his art pure. He's never applied for grants, and instead would just send a proposal to someone he met at a party. Through it all, his setup was grassroots via his travels.
It just evolved, leaving him free from day jobs, able to work part time and focus on his fantastic whims. Of the DIY ethic, Doyle says, "I don't want to say, 'Fake it till you make it,' but you can try it and fail and keep it up until you succeed. Don't say you can't do it. It's easy to learn from other people."
Rapture, Detroitus' studio-warming party and art show will feature "Gon-KiRin," "The Regurgitator," Andrew H. Shirley and William Thomas Porter's "Fuck Bike," videos of the radioactive carnival ride and installations and performances from Monica Canilao, Wolfgang Paperchase, Franco and Eva Mattes, as well as performances from bands Apetechnology, Tornado and Smoke Signal, as well as local DJs Jerry P., Black Lid and DJ Dirty Finger from Brooklyn. In the back of the Russell Industrial Center, on Clay Street at the railroad tracks, exhibition and barbecue at 7 p.m., bands and DJs at 9 p.m.; $5 admission.
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