JULY 20, 2015
The lights in town were out. The core of Downtown Long Beach and its neighboring hood, the East Village Arts District, had been without electricty for over twenty-four hours. The second installment of PechaKucha Night Long Beach at ArtExchange should have been cancelled but Long Beach's art community made it happen.
The electrical outage lasted more than 72-hours and it was a great time to reflect on how our daily needs and tasks are so interconnected with this massive - yet seemingly invisible - power structure. Having to travel out of the comfort of the East Village Arts District for WiFi to download the presentation, run-of-show and other compiled notes saved in the cloud felt like a feat from a Grecian tale. Rewriting the run-of-show because it wasn't download during said trip presented no major challenge to a nearly eidetic memory. Being reminded that printers can't print without power humbled the experience of the evening. Calculating the battery life of lights left the team wishing they had paid closer attention in math class.
While pre-show t-shirt block printing and drawing sessions went smoothly, it would be a lie to say the rest evening went off without issue. We needed power, lights and safety prepartions for a night of art in the dark. Magically, it all came together. Jordan Christian, one of the three abstract artists currently showing in the main gallery, had a gasoline powered generator. With generators a limited commodity in the area, we feared someone might take the one we were borrowing from Jordan. We put out a call for security. Local paparazzo Richard Shimizu answered and was even able to snag a couple of great pics of the night. A few other issues came up but were quickly resolved by our great community. Thanks to Amy for troubleshooting the generator (slash opening its carborator). Thanks to Damian for navigating us through our VGA to HDMI projector setup. And thanks to El Imagenero for catching some great shots of PKNLB at ArtExchange.
Despite the issues with the electrical grid, all of our presenters arrived on-time and ready with their best. In the comotion technical problems, something got messed up with the audio recorder for the event. Unfortunately, we'll only have a few recording from speakers to upload. But we're happy to chalk PKNLB#2 to a more experiencial volume. You had to be there to see and feel the magic. Regardless, the audience enjoyed every moment. For the night, ArtExchange had become this pocket of light and life in the beautifully dark and quite ocean skyline. Proof that the power of art wins.