Houston Music

Trip the Rodeo Disco Light Fantastic With Houston's Dream Machine 2018

This year's Dream Machine actually has 11 installations, including an underwater rodeo disco, an interactive light room and a sculpted crystal with refracted light "bursting out of the ground."
This year's Dream Machine actually has 11 installations, including an underwater rodeo disco, an interactive light room and a sculpted crystal with refracted light "bursting out of the ground." Photo by Jean Velez
Somebody fed the Dream Machine after midnight. In year three of this audio-visual installation event, the immersive technology has become more than just a single exhibit; it's taken over the whole venue with 11 different installations from Texas-based artists.

Remember when the Input/Output Digital Lab lit up the BE SOMEONE graffiti with a flashing projection last year? Those guys (Alex Ramos and Billy Baccam) are exhibiting at Dream Machine with something vaguely being described as "inflatable architecture." It just gets weirder from there.

Tim Steinke, a projection artist who in the past has worked with DJ Sun on his multimedia performance Sun Resolution, has a site-specific piece. "He's building a crystal with refracted light bursting out of the ground," says Hannah Bull, general manager of presenter Bambull Black (along with Dom Bam, creative director, and Black Cassidy, curator).
Anybody who witnessed the crazy at 2016's Madness on Main will remember The Tripatorium, a mirrored box that invited comments from the peanut gallery. The creators, Moon Papas (Matt Fries and Julian Luna) have created a control center along the same vein. "They're building an interactive light room; it has a huge pad with like 20 buttons. Click the buttons and something different happens. It's got about 20 light panels about the height of a human," says Bull.

The team of Alex Lechin and Sera Rose are planning a "projected underwater rodeo disco" with UV lighting and mixed media, so giddyup to that.

Bull says they do get compared to Day for Night — in terms of concept, not bad behavior by its founder. "We are this platform for artists in Houston to build and show their work to the community. That’s the main mission of us, to give this platform for artists, but also inviting music and giving people a good time, supporting local vendors. It's very community oriented. We do get compared with Day for Night, but we’re mostly focused on building our community and our art, rather than culling people from other states."

Music acts include performances by Golden Dawk Arkestra, Sailor Poon, GRRRLPARTS, Expensive Genes, Bayou Vimana and Galaxy of Trees.

The VIP section has really been ramped up this year with a private bar and personal VIP DJ FREDster Singson. "It's a party away from the party. A smaller, more intimate dance party with food and lounge furniture," says Bull. "People can go in and out. People that have a high profile and tend to get a lot of attention, they like to go where there’s less people so they can move around comfortably. Bands and musicians will be stopping by, too."

It's a 21 and up event and, based on what we saw last year, "wild attire" is encouraged.

Dream Machine 2018 is scheduled for 6 p.m.-2 a.m. December 15 at The Jar, 2122 Center. For information visit facebook.com/events/344474832795678 or dreammachinehtx.com, for tickets visit withfriends.co/event/859061/dream_machine_2018, $35 to $60.
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Susie Tommaney is a contributing writer who enjoys covering the lively arts and culture scene in Houston and surrounding areas, connecting creative makers with the Houston Press readers to make every week a great one.
Contact: Susie Tommaney