On Thursday evening, ABSOLUT brought Philadelphia's first ABSOLUT X art-centric event to the Electric Factory.
The evening boasted a wondrous futuristic masquerade ball with a live performance by Twin Shadow, DJ set by David Pianka of Making Time, visual interactive art installations by Philadelphia-based Klip Collective and delicious custom cocktails by Time Restaurant's own bar master Tim Heuisler. Guests were treated to a slew of complimentary favors: masks, drinks, food, screen printed t-shirts, music and fun.
The collaboration between Twin Shadow, Klip Collective and Heuisler was almost too easy. Heuisler has been working in the service industry for ten years and came highly recommended by local ABSOLUT reps and colleagues. Klip Collective are major artistic innovators and have worked with Twin Shadow on previous projects. Also, they all happen to have a huge passion for motorcycles–total coincidence.
Tim knows his booze and loves his city. "Philadelphia's definitely a drinking city so you gotta put something new in front of people. I like to present the classics but with a little twist on it." With Tim manning the main bar for the evening, he was given the task of creating a unique drink menu that reflected the city, the band and the artwork. Drinks flowed all night featuring such tongue tingling flavors as sage, honey and jalapeño. "Once you understand flavors and classic recipe breakdowns, it's kind of like a chef creating a tasting menu."
With drinks in hand, guests were invited to peruse the large innards of the Electric Factory, which was completely transformed into a colorful interactive visual feast. Ricardo Rivera is, one of the founders of Philadelphia visual art company Klip Collective. Rivera is a video-mapping pioneer who has been at it for over a decade – he was even granted a patent for his innovative skills. If you don't know, video mapping is the fine art of projecting images onto objects that tailor to surface areas in order to create varying image landscapes within dimensional spaces.
This evening happened to be a bit of a celebration; it had officially been ten years since the company was conceived. "This is weird anniversary for us because the sculpture out there [in the Electric Factory] is from 2004." He was talking about the landmark pipe-like projection screen the lines the left side of the venue’s walls. Rivera’s goal for the evening was to dazzle the audience with weirdness, and he did. "I'm trying to balance commercial work that feeds into my artistic endeavors." Guests were invited to stand in front of a projector that created a multi-colored body silhouette onto the screen behind. Their image was then projected onto the pipe structure on the wall of the main floor of the venue. At the same time, projected images of cats, lava, and oily-like substances flowed through the structure.
Twin Shadow, the new-wave indie music group, comprised mainly of George Lewis Jr., fit perfectly into the mix. Lewis has been a frequent performer at Philadelphia’s own Making Time, who have used Klip Collective’s creative visuals for a number of events and productions. "Ricardo [from Klip Collective] and I have been collaborating for a while. We've known each other for three years; literally since Twin Shadow really began. We talked about collaborating a long time ago and only on this very last tour did we get to do that. I gave Ricardo a visual theme for what the show should look like and he put together projections based on those ideas." Lewis’ ideas translated into oily, iridescent imagery–which was shown throughout the space. Being the only artist that evening that wasn’t from Philadelphia, Lewis had a surprising relation with the city. “My deepest connection with the city would be Boyz II Men. Which was my favorite band, ever, until I was about 10-years-old. They are probably one of the biggest reasons I play music.”
Twin Shadow wowed both fans and non-fans as the night came to a close. The total transformation that the Electric Factory took on transported the audience out of the usual concert mentality and into an ocular wonder world of amusement.