Opening Night at T:BA Satisfies the Masses

Theesatisfaction 2

When the Time-Based Art Festival rolls around every year, there is a sensation in my body that I can not explain, at least beyond the whiskey. The time to party is nigh and I do not aim to neglect that. It is not so serious, this art, not always anyway. The two visual exhibitions I saw last night make art fun again, especially Flashlight Filmstrip Projections. The music of the night set things off exactly right, a hip-hop trio called THEEsatisfaction. And the makeshift facilities at Fasion Tech for the WORKS provides an ideal environment for its multi-faceted purposes.

Yesterday afternoon, I was biking home from the dentist and decided to stop in and grab my media passes. Immediately upon elevator doors sliding open to third floor PICA offices, I spot the usually glamorous Angela Mattox in plain clothes. She swiftly offers a hug and of course I give back.

“How are things going?” I ask. Her confidence brimming, smiling bright like I have never seen it. Things were going well, no complaints. She actually looks happy. Yes, the office is busy and everyone is in a shuffle, but they are cheerful and glad for the activity. The box office is slammed and it looks like sales might be up this year.

This gave me a good first impression. They’re getting the routine down pat. The festival has not grown in terms of programming in years. Aspects have shifted; they lease their own floor in a building now and this marks Angela’s third festival on the job of Artistic Director for T:BA.

As I was straightening out some administrative errors concerning my passes, Paula Helen walked in to line at the box office. We did not plan that. She will be covering almost as much of the festival as I plan to for Ambit Mag. She was in attendance last night also. Between the two of us, we aim to review 90% of the full T:BA program over the next ten days. We briefly discussed that.

Opening day is not a bad time to visit each visual exhibition—get it out of the way. Along with several hundred if not thousands of others last night, I walked through Resonant Entity Modulator by MSHR, and Flashlight Filmstrip Projection by Jennifer West. This is the only free night of entry at The WORKS but afternoons are free to the public to view each exhibition. I want to deal with both of these visual works in a separate article focused on them coming soon.

But I would love to tell you how great THEEsatisfaction is. They are hip-hop. They emody new R&B. They are dancers. They are rappers. They produce beats and movement in my feets. Hailing from Seattle and scooped up by Sub Pop, the Pacific Northwest is lucky to have them. I would have guessed Oakland or Brooklyn.

What I really like is that I thought their music sounded weird. It first made me think of mid-career Tricky. But the gals dance there like Motown back up singers. They can sing, but they can also rap. It’s good rap. Its real, its visionary, its not even about attitude but they are full of personality. And I love their style too. I probably will not give another thing at T:BA this much praise.

But now I have to go for a talk with Jennifer West at PICA. I plan to see Samita Sinha and Tanya Tagaq tonight.




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