assume vivid astro focus: actions vent ascending frequencies
This interactive exhibit and skating space took place
from September 13 through October 6, 2019.
Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture (FMCAC) presented actions vent ascending frequencies, a participatory art installation and roller rink experience from creative collective assume vivid astro focus (avaf). The artist-designed outdoor roller-skating rink featured performances, DJ sets, and special programming from September 13, 2019 through October 6, 2019. The exhibition was free and open to the public.
avaf’s reimagined roller rink, a 21st-century social sculpture drawing on the optimism and democratic energy of disco-driven skate sites, makes its California premiere at FMCAC. The painting-like environment blends psychedelia, color fields, and the gender-queer imagery of San Francisco’s legendary performance troupe The Cockettes to create an iconic pop-up art installation.
Local roller-skating organizations the Church of 8 Wheels and Bay Area Derby partnered with FMCAC to produce and operate the rink. Both organizations provided rink hosts, DJs, and special programs throughout the run of the project. The Church provided rental skates, available to visitors for $5. A full schedule of DJs and programming appears at the end of this listing.
The exhibition was on view September 13 through October 6, 2019. Free to the public, open hours are listed below. Closed Monday-Tuesday. The exhibit was installed in the parkinglot.
- Wednesday: 12:00 p.m. (noon) to 8:00 p.m.
- Thursday: 12:00 p.m. (noon) to 8:00 p.m.
- Friday: 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. (to coincide with Off the Grid)
- Saturday: 12:00 p.m. (noon) to 8:00 p.m.
- Sunday: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Tickets were complimentary — reserve online here. Skate rentals were available for $5 and were reserved online or in person. Due to anticipated demand, visitors were encouraged to make advance reservations.
Organization and Credits
actions vent ascending frequencies was presented by Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture in partnership with the Church of 8 Wheels and Bay Area Derby. Images of prior rink installations courtesy Faena Art.
assume vivid astro focus was founded by Eli Sudbrack (b. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1968) in 2001. Sudbrack began working with Christophe Hamaide Pierson in 2005 as a duo that often morphs into a collective for select projects. avaf works in a vast array of media, including painting, drawing, installations, video, sculpture, neons, wallpaper, decals, and often confronts gender, politics, and embedded cultural codes through pop imagery and neon colors.
avaf has been the subject of major exhibitions and is an innovator behind public art projects around the world. These include Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati (2015); The Faena Art Center, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2014); Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), North Miami (2013); The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo, Norway (2009); São Paulo Bienal, São Paulo, Brazil (2008); Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York (2008); Museum of Contemporary Art (MOT), Tokyo, Japan (2007); 1st Athens Biennale, Athens, Greece (2007); The Geffen Contemporary (MoCA), Los Angeles (2005); The Whitney Biennial, New York (2004); among others.
The Church of 8 Wheels, an organization led by the “Godfather of Skate” David Miles Jr. and his partner Rose Miles, has reimagined the former Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Fillmore and Fell as a regular destination for positivity, music, and community-building through skating.
Bay Area Derby is a non-profit, fully volunteer-driven, skater-owned-and operated organization that provides amateur athletic opportunities for people to play flat-track roller derby in the region while giving back to the community that has supported it since 2004.
assume vivid astro focus: actions vent ascending frequencies
HARD FRENCH: September 14, 2019, Opened Saturday (2:00 p.m to 8:00 p.m.)
San Francisco’s premier outdoor daytime soul music dance party concludes their 2019 season and kicks off our first Saturday on the assume vivid astro focus rink. HARD FRENCH focuses on a genuine dance party experience through creativity, magic, and the value of dancing your heart out to your favorite song. The HARD FRENCH crew consists of producer Devon Devine, art directors Jorge P. and Tim T., and DJ Brown Amy. They are joined for the event by DJs Vin Sol (Club Lonely) and Carrie OnDisco (Pound Puppy).
DJ Bus Station John: October 5, 2019, Last Saturday Night (5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.)
The Godfather of Bathhouse-era Disco brings his deep-cut expertise in disco, ’80s R&B, Hi-NRG, and funk to our final Saturday night skate. Never nostalgic, San Francisco’s legendary leader of the Tubesteak Connection at Aunt Charlie’s and Disco Daddy at the SF Eagle always spins his treasured tracks in the present tense.
DJs in RESIDENCE
DJ Milestone: Wednesdays & Thursdays (5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.)
The resident DJ at our partner the Church of 8 Wheels headed down Fillmore and became our own resident DJ to rev up the rink all month long.
DJ JuanLove: Fridays, September 13 & 27, 2019 (5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.)
DJ JuanLove gave a living room salsa lesson and saw it grow too big for his house. He now hosts TUMBAO–Musica Cubana at Oakland’s Luka’s Taproom & Lounge every Thursday night.
DJ Sin Amores: Fridays, September 13, 2019 & October 4 , 2019 (7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.)
Crystal Mendoza aka DJ Sin Amores is a queer latinx papi born in el desierto de Indio, Califas and raised in the barrios of el Este de Los Angeles, Boyle Heights y Mexicali, Baja Califas. Durante el dia, you can find Crystal in community spaces providing case management services to our jente y youth in the barrio of the Mission District, San Pancho. Durante la noche, you can find Sin Amores on the decks providing ritmo y sabor! Crystal’s musical pallet consists of all vinyl CUMBIA sets (sonidera, colombiana, chicha, tradicional, techno, dub, y mas). Crystal’s musical taste is influenced by her lived experience which is represented by the borderlands of Califas y Mexicali, Baja California.
SPECIAL GUEST ARTIST DJs
Cliff Hengst: Sundays, September 15 & 22, 2019 (3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.)
Artist Cliff Hengst has been known to spin records when not making art. His paintings and performances compress political language, comedy, and persona into powerful acts. His work has been featured at the Berkeley Art Museum, SFMOMA, Southern Exposure, The San Francisco Arts Commission and Gallery 16 in San Francisco; Hauser & Wirth and Machine Project in Los Angeles; The Tang Museum at Skidmore College in New York; and most recently at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia.
DJ Jim G (Jim Granato): Friday, September 20, 2019 (7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.)
DJ Jim G is a long time vinyl enthusiast and DJ who regularly spins below-the-belt soul and rock-n-roll at various watering holes since 2002. His podcast and former weekly radio show Wax! Crackle! Pop! was part of the Radio Valencia family between 2013 and 2016 and has included special guests Mike Watt, Jonathan Richman and many more. Granato is also an award-winning filmmaker. His A Day With My Boy: Slug War (2014) was licensed by PBS and premiered on their Online Film Festival, and Angels (2013) was nominated for a Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival. D Tour (2009), his first feature-length film as a director and producer, won the Golden Gate Award for Bay Area Feature Documentary from the San Francisco International Film Festival and the Jury Prize for Best Documentary from the Bend Film Festival. He is currently working on a second feature film project with underground “budget rock” legends The Mummies.
DJ Jimmy Hits: Saturday, September 21, 2019 (2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.)
In 1999 a young scratch nerd with a passion for the ones and twos, a love of Party Rock, early electro, and ’90s hip hop set forth with one dream in mind, becoming one of the best DJs to have ever come out of California. For two years Jimmy Hits spent time day and night locked in his room perfecting his craft before he went about taking the West Coast by storm.
And storm he did. From his own bedroom he moved on to local venues such as Marquee in Sydney and Temple in San Francisco, to Create in Hollywood, and even going as far as the Hyde out in Las Vegas, NV. Today you can find Jimmy Hits all over the place and in almost every scene, be it DJing at one of his many residencies such as Hard Rock SF Cafe and Rouge Nightclub, spinning for the trio band Super Square, or keeping the underground Bay alive with his open format style that ranges from Electro Dance to Dubstep and beyond.
Brontez Purnell: Saturday, September 21, 2019 (5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.)
Brontez Purnell plays everything from garage rock to disco to funk to Pal Joey remixes of Deee-Lite. A multi-disciplinary artist, curator, and writer, Purnell won the 2018 Whiting Award for his novel Since I Laid My Burden Down (2017) and recently published his first children’s book, The Nightlife of Jacuzzi Gaskett (2019), with illustrations by Elise R. Peterson. He fronts the punk band The Younger Lovers, and danced with the much-loved queer electro indie band Gravy Train!!! in the aughts. With Sophia Wang, he co-founded and choreographs the Brontez Purnell Dance Company. His documentary film Unstoppable Feat: The Dances of Ed Mock (2018) captures the work, milieu, and legacy of the San Francisco-based choreographer who created both new types of movement and new ways for movement artists to work together. Purnell’s forthcoming book 100 Boyfriends will be published by Farrar, Strauss & Giroux.
DJ Bre-Ad: Sunday, September 22, 2019 (12:00 p.m. Noon to 3:00 p.m.)
DJ Bre-Ad brings boogie funk, disco, Italo, electro, and soul to the rink. Entrenched in the Bay Area’s electronic dance scene/rave culture of the 1990s, DJ Bre-Ad (aka Brad Steinberg) DJ-ed at various local raves and city club venues. He is a founding member of STATIC, a late 90s SF experimental music collective, and co-organizer of the early aughts’ Italo Disco club Hot Hair Care and downtempo/ambient weekly Circuit Breaker. He was the co-owner of Exact Science, an independent clothing company that honored hip hop culture, graphic design, and fashion.
Jill Reiter: Friday, September 27, 2019 (7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.); Saturday, September 28, 2019 (5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.); Friday, October 4, 2019, (4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.) & Saturday, October 5, 2019 (2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.)
Filmmaker Jill Reiter plays danceable vintage sounds from Nu-Wav to underground Disco, Hi-NRG, Glamrock stompers, and soul. A filmmaker working in 16mm & Super 8, Reiter excavates and explores the queer underground subcultures of 70s-90s punk, psychedelic, glamrock, and new wave milieus. Her films include 1993’s Frenzy, which captured the queerpunk/riot grrrl NYC ephemeral scene, and the acid-tinged new wave opus In Search of Margo-go, shot in 1994 and starring Reiter, Kathleen Hanna, and Iraya Robles. Her work has appeared at the New Museum, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Kitchen, BFI Southbank in London, and at film festivals in the U.S. and Europe. She also creates large-scale montage projections at nightclubs such as San Francisco’s (now) drag institution Oasis and art institutions including SFMOMA and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
Whoop Dee Doo: Sunday, September 29, 2019 (12:00 p.m. Noon to 6:00 p.m.)
Whoop Dee Doo is a traveling, artist-led project and non-profit that partners with local youth organizations and performing artists to create ambitious installations and one-of-a-kind variety shows. They’ve produced new work for the Abrons Art Center, The Highline, and MoMA (NYC); SFAI and SFMOMA (San Francisco); and Utah MOCA, among others. Lead artists Matt Roche and Jaimie Warren take a break from researching their next project (for Fort Mason Center For Arts & Culture!) to provide an eclectic mix of classic disco and pop, avant garde oddities, and slowed-down standards.
Gina Basso: Sunday, October 6, 2019 (12:00 p.m. Noon to 3:00 p.m.)
Gina Basso curated the film program at SFMOMA and spins disco, soul, and dusty gems! Her upcoming series, Voices Carry: Women in Film, ran at SFMOMA through Thursday, November 21, 2019 and included work by Andrea Arnold, Claire Denis, Nadine Labaki, Lucretia Martel, and Rungano Nyoni, among others. Her new matinee series, Silver Screen, began Friday, September 13, 2019 at SFMOMA.