Survival Research Labs: Survival Research Labs: Shows: 25 Year Anniversary

S R L   2 5   Y e a r   A n n i v e r s a r y

Fri Apr 9, 7pm-midnite
Celebration at The Lab
2948 16th St at Capp (1/2 block from 16th St/Mission St BART Station)
San Francisco



Audio (from Kyrsten Mate):
Crew bashing Sneaky Soldiers with Baseball Bats (2.2mb mp3)
Shockwave Cannon Operated on corner of Capp & 16th (410k mp3)


FEATURES: MATT GONZALEZ will dialogue with Mark Pauline from 7-8pm on "Cutting Edge Art and Social Change." And, the Extra Action Marching Band will close the evening! This is exciting! Doors open at 6:30pm.

Prophets are rarely celebrated in their own town, but finally San Francisco is hosting a 25th Anniversary Survival Research Laboratories (SRL) Celebration, sponsored by RE/Search Publications and The LAB. This is the first comprehensive SRL historical retrospective in San Francisco. 2500 linear feet of enormous, beautiful photographic blowups, plus poster art, will document every SRL performance to date, all over the world. Rare videos will play, there will be Q&A panels, SRL machines will be present, and there may even be a "surprise event" from SRL...

Some background: About 25 years ago Survival Research Laboratories pioneered violent, uncensored, large-scale machine performances (well before "Robot Wars"). SRL shows display a war of ideas involving the challenging of clichéand outmoded perceptions and beliefs. Iconography (often site-specific) in the form of large-scale dazzling graphic images, buildings, hand-crafted sculptures and other "props" may be burned to death, shot, ripped apart by claws, or otherwise "critiqued."

The SRL 25th Anniversary party will offer a rare opportunity to engage with SRL artists, including founder Mark Pauline. Beginning the evening, San Francisco Supervisor Matt Gonzalez will dialogue with Mark Pauline on"Cutting-Edge Art & Social Change," moderated by RE/Search Publications founder V. Vale. A spectrum of SRL artists and art authorities (including Berkeley Museum Director Kevin Consey) will participate in Q&A interviews, and the world premiere of the SRL Los Angeles 2002 video is scheduled. Jon Reiss (L.A.), original SRL videographer, will present a specially-edited "Best of SRL in the '80s" compilation, and there will be a "live" surround video projection of SRL's recent U.C. Berkeley Art Museum Outdoor Performance, Nov 12, 2003 (by Scott Beale, Marian Wallace, and others). The evening will end with a performance by Katy Bell (performance artist) & friends, and then The Extra Action Marching Band's grand finale (they're one of our favorites, ever--we think of them as the Merry Pranksters of this decade).

Other surprises are still being planned. SRL will make available posters, videos, T-shirts and other impossible-to-find rarities. Admission includes a $5 discount coupon good toward the purchase of a RE/Search PRANKS! book, which contains a lengthy interview with SRL founder Mark Pauline.

Also check and for more details.

The entire evening will be a testament to the complex genre invented in the Bay Area by SRL, which might be termed "machine opera". Nowadays some 50 SRL crew members, many with advanced technical backgrounds and academic degrees, collaborate, co-invent, and co-operate to produce the massive live shows staged whenever and wherever the opportunity presents itself.

Why opera? SRL shows involve the construction and the operation of heavy stage machinery (to move sets and staging), the construction of the stage sets, actors and actresses (with their own "maintenance" crews), lighting and sound including pre-show and post-show music and show soundtrack, plus graphics, posters, hand-made costumes, iconography, plots and themes, the publicity campaign, the feeding and housing of the humans involved, and the all-important website by Karen Marcelo, backed by Eddie Codel. An SRL live performance is very similar to an opera, except that machines are substituted for human performers. Therefore it's our contention that SRL has invented its own genre: violent machine performance art, or Machine Opera.

Again, this is a rare opportunity to dialogue with SRL artists who will be present in force.

V. Vale
RE/Search Publications

Dangerous and Disturbing Mechanical Presentations Since 1979