Sensor Overload Watch Assume Vivid Astro Focus (AVAF) VIII at MOCA

Ahhh. Returning to MOCA in North Miami after a year or so absence and nothing has changed. Free parking unchanged. The uninviting stagnant water pool at the building entrance unchanged. A very warm and bright summer Saturday afternoon.  Perhaps a garden with stout trees would have been a better choice. And the sure shot drive east on 125th Ave from I-95 through the neighborhood also unchanged.

Impressed and likely to return for an additional viewing of avaf’s Assume Vivid Astro Focus VIII. Red, white, blue, green light changes saturate the walls from above. From above! Loud music switching between possible three tracks. Observe the walls and find them transform with each light change. A dark room like effect. New images appear and images you’ve already noticed transform and change again and again. A living wall.

An intimate space of maybe eight feet by six feet, you feel everything mounted on top of you; the music, lights, images. Everything in the room is an extension of you. The light changes and you feel that your eyes see only the same color light. The music changes and you feel oversized headphones on your ears. The images change and you feel as though you blinked. Of course you don’t and a new scene appears before you.

Hundreds of images and drawings floor to ceiling in all sizes on the walls. A collage. There is a sense of being in a fun house. Surprises abound. The largest static image is of a gigantic woman whose head is visible above the entrance stretching across the ceiling. Her long legs extending down opposite the entrances. Walk in and first you see legs. Follow the legs up to her hips and torso on the ceiling until finally turning around to see her head right above the entrance way as though she is hugging the room. There’s something about seeing a cartoonishly large women exerting interest. Fully clothed and large. We should see more of them.

A narrow white child’s sized spiral staircase down the center of the room disappears. Enter the room and immediately you’re at the walls. Atop the staircase lights, audio, and project equipment hang. The alternating lights remake the room. The music makes you feel comfortable – Where’s the Whiskey? Can I bum a cigarette? Slow paced with haunting deep piano notes create a wonderfully synced combination courtesy of Los Super Elegantes’ Fla & Flu. Green and red lights carry along with the music’s lazy pace.

The images keep you there. Some are innocent. Listen to curated songs. Really listen and you’ll be there long enough to notice still images of bare breasts. Compromising positions. Genuine perversion. A randomness of imagery, people, cartoons, drawings in a massive collage. The images must feel strange together forced into the same room. If you could freeze frame an over the top party party in a Beetlejuice land sans monsters this is what it would be. The party continues even as you leave the room.

Attracted by the music and lights some walk enter and immediately turn around to exit. Perhaps embarrassed or simply afraid or unable to take in the overload. Definitely an experience. A sincere “Thank You” to asaf! Ahhh.

Fewer things make me happier than taking pictures in museums. Out of courtesy, always, I ask and was very happy to hear that pictures were permitted. Congratulations. You may enter.

And what’s with the no pictures in museums anyway. Next post: museum picture and video policy report and rating.