Techno in the Museum

Party/After-Party, Carl Craig’s installation, is on display at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in LA through July 23, 2023. Craig’s 30-minute immersive experience that explores the highs, ecstasy, and eventual come-down of a night spent on the dance floor is a testament to the collective human need for celebration, mourning, and togetherness through dance.

Craig, who is well-known for his contributions to the techno scene in Detroit, derives inspiration for this piece from a long career as a DJ. Party/After-Party, which made its debut at Dia Beacon in March 2020, reappears when the pandemic’s hold on the world begins to weaken, signifying a return to the thriving nightlife scene.

With flashing lights and a heavy techno beat, the piece creates an immersive environment that draws visitors. The show, which may have been inspired by minimalist light works, recalls the excitement of a warehouse rave as the lights fade and neon strips brighten the space.

A central lamp illuminates a “X” on the ground as the pulsating beat ultimately changes into dreamy waves of sound. Revealing their personalities in this ceremonial act, viewers are invited to stand beneath the spotlight. It feels like one is leaving a nightclub at dawn as the spotlight goes out and the skylights open again.

Featured Image: Carl Craig, Party/After-Party (2023). Courtesy of The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Photo Credit: Zak Kelley


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