by Sybil Levine
Attention all party people of Oberlin: Break out your rave shorts and LED gloves, glitter and day-glow body paint, and prepare to have the night of your life!
There’s a new group on campus that’s here to cater to our need to get crunk. Six Obies have come together to form Solarity (http://www.solarityevents.com/), a group dedicated to unifying Oberlin’s social scene through large scale musical shows and dance productions that double as platforms for artistic expression. “We put the ‘unity’ in ‘community,’” says the group’s Co-Founder, Eli Clark-Davis, on his hopes to create one event where a multitude of talent can be exhibited by Obies, for Obies. The first of the shows hosted by Solarity will be an event called The Neon Garden and will be taking place on April 30th in the Science Center Atrium. That’s right, your beloved Science Center study space will be transformed into the neon epicenter of what is bound to be one of the craziest nights this generation of Obies has ever seen.
Solarity was allotted $6,000 with which to make their dream a reality. “Imagine Eden before the fall” describes Timothy Patch, Art Director for Solarity, when discussing his mental image of the Science Center’s modification. Four DJ sets -Bass Oddity, Ansible, Slaptop, and Lucas Casoph and Jolo Mason – will be providing the music. Poi spinners will be seen grooving to the neon beats with their glowing poi. Henry Towbin will be contributing to the event with a projecting interactive laser graffiti show, an exhibit that sounds difficult to explain but highly entertaining. In the middle of the atrium will be a labyrinth, adding to the metamorphosis of the Science Center. Charlie Spears is arranging the projection of a neon version of Planet Earth that will be playing in sync to the music being heard at the event – talk about trippy. To accompany the plants seen on screen will be a smattering of foliage all around the Science Center, some of which will glow in the neon lights of the party atmosphere. In addition, much student art will be on display. Body painting will also be offered, although that is also something people can do before the event as part of a pregame plan.
Speaking of bodies and pre-event planning, the dress code of the evening will adhere to the same rules of Safer Sex Night – all people must cover their nipples and no exposed genitalia. You know, Oberlin, so adhere to the rules but feel most encouraged to be creative. Finally, the name of this event is “Neon Garden” so don’t hesitate to find the brightest clothes in your closet. A side note on the body paint here: keep in mind we’ll be indoors, and water-soluble body paint will make a mess. For those of you who are interested, you can order all the latex body paint you would ever need at http://blacklight.com/.
More along the lines of pre-event planning concerns the state of sobriety in which you want to be during an event like this. Although Solarity is not explicitly hosting a “rave,” my personal interpretation of what this event will look like is similar to the concept of a rave. That being said, Neon Garden sounds like the perfect time to roll face (“Orange Slices!!” – Daniel Cook, Event Coordinator). As Evan Baker, Treasurer, would say, “thizz is what it is.” Turning now to address the issue of alcohol: there will be no alcohol served at Neon Garden. Solarity wants to remind its attendees that “intoxication is an individual responsibility,” so plan ahead and please be safe.
The best news about this whole get up is that it is only the first of many events! Timothy Patch hopes for this to become a “staple of the Oberlin experience.” Ideally, the group will be able to host similar events in the future with one or two occurring each semester. All members of the committee are currently sophomores, and if all goes as planned, they are only the first generation of Obies to handle this responsibility.
As Jesse Goldberg, Promotion Director for Solarity, says, “You always regret the things you don’t do more than the things you do.” So mark you calendar, Oberlin – April 30, 2011 – for Neon Garden, the multi-sensory extravaganza.