For this week, I would like to focus our attentions on collaboration. Working with others is a wonderful thing, for what many minds can produce together is far greater than what any one mind can do alone. The surrealists understood this and explored it through their game know as the Exquisite Corpse. The purpose of this game is to develop a surprising sentence, drawing or collage, through the intermingling of many imaginations combined with chance.
In many regards, that is what is going on with old friends, at a new space, inside of a former shoe factory in Downtown Baltimore, near the 1st Mariner Arena. This week, I am pleased to introduce you to the EMP Collective.
There are many things the EMP could stand for… Extremely Magical People, for example. But as the story goes, EMP does not actually stand for anything in particular, which from a poetic perspective, means that it could stand for anything at all. And when you step into the EMP Collective’s new space on Redwood Street, you are filled with a sense of just that… ANYTHING could happen here. And it often does! Their 5,000 square ft. piece of Baltimore serves as a full-time gallery, performance space, movie theater, dance hall, clubhouse and so much more!
EMP was fortunate to receive a grant from “Operation Storefront” provided by the Downtown Partnership, which works with property owners with vacant storefront properties to match them with entrepreneurs looking to help revitalize arts, culture and business in certain Baltimore neighborhoods. And they have staked their claim on the spot, where a large wooden sign outside the front door reads simply “EMP”
When we stopped in for a visit last week, the EMPers were hard at work on their new production which opens THIS Weekend, called Night Sweats. This production is a big deal for everyone involved, for it is their first full-scale in house production they have mounted since they opened in October of last year. And though EMP stands to be an incubator of art in all of its forms, what they do best is make multimedia theatrical extravaganza’s. Night Sweats, their latest production, opens January 27th.!
Their description of this production says it all: “Night Sweats is a mixed-media-on-your-feet theatrical voyage through an acid-laced dreamscape complete with puppet confidants, murderous vultures, swamp things, and all the terrors that keep us up while the whole world is sound asleep.” Clearly this is my cup of tea!
It is with the Dr. Nodnol Stamp of Approval that I recommend you make it over the EMP Collective in the coming weeks to see what the hubbub is all about. And be sure to check em out throughout the year for a wide variety of programming to suit all the senses!
The EMP Collective will also be presenting an installation at the Winter Festival of Wonders. With a call from the past, you will behold a large Zoetrope—one of man’s early inventions for creating the illusion of movement. It is amazing to see how much progress we have made in less than 200 years.
Please join me next week as I introduce you to a new, infinite game and creative tool, called Mixtum!
Dr. Finius J. Nodnol III, Esq.
To visit EMP’s website, please visit www.empcollective.org
For more information on the Winter Festival of Wonders, please visit www.WFOW.info