In recent years an event phenomenon has swept the West Coast the impact of which has been felt all over the world. A new, hyper-expressive community centered on the Do Lab and Lucent Dossier has sprung out of the ashes of Burning Man and the desert dust of Moontribe, attracting an expanding clan of nomadic visionaries with total environment designs, path breaking music, and a general atmosphere of hedonistic liberation. At the core of mega-events like Lightning in a Bottle, Sea of Dreams, and the upcoming Lucent L’amour at the Shrine Expo Center this weekend are a team of talented installation artists led by the brothers Fleming — Jesse, Josh, and DeeDee — and Dream Rockwell of the Lucent Dossier nouvelle vaudeville troupe.
Although the headliners at Lucent L’amour, a Visionary Love Fest are music acts such as Bassnectar, Stanton Warriors, Beats Antique, and N.A.S.A., there’s a lot more to any Do Lab/Lucent collaboration than just the music. I recently spoke with Jesse Fleming of the Do Lab about what to expect this Saturday in LA.
What’s the idea behind this version of the Love Fest? Our goal is to put art and performance on a level playing field with the music. We have created an audience for the music, and now we want to develop the same high profile for the visual artists. Our music headliners like Bassnectar and Glitch Mob will drive attendance, and I don’t know if the visual street artists like The Mac and Retna will have the same draw, but we’re going to give them the same live presence, with a wall that they will be doing in real time. Then the gallery represents the underground scene in Los Angeles, which is now getting a lot of attention from the art world at large. There will also be some performances, and of course we do build some things ourselves, like that tree you saw up at Sea of Dreams — [it] will be at the Love Fest.
Tell me about the event’s connection to Valentine’s Day and the idea behind the Love Fest. We’ve been calling it “a visionary love fest” for years, and part of that has to do with its proximity to Valentine’s Day. Some people have come back at us with the comment that the love fest theme is corny, but we think we are doing it in a stylish way, not with the hearts and flowers of traditional celebrations, but with something a little different.
How has it been received? It really worked last year. We had a great crowd, but it was chilly because we made it a street festival.
Have you done anything to adjust for that? Sure — this year it’s in the Shrine Auditorium. Essentially its one giant room with a balcony that surrounds it, and we are going to create a series of environments within that space. We decided to go inside so that in a controlled environment we can do more in terms of attention to detail.
What kind of numbers are you aiming for in terms of attendance? We are expecting approximately 5,000 people. The community is even larger than that, and we want to make it so that people can travel to it from Santa Barbara and San Diego. We are hoping to get the local Burners and the UCSB people into it. There will be special student-priced tickets.
The Do Lab presents Lucent L’amour at the Shrine Expo Hall in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, February 13 from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. The event is open to those 18 and over, with full bar available for attendees 21 and over. For tickets and information, visit lucentlamour.com.