Life . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . .(Life)
I launched the first, rather boxy, version of the Hyperhive with a vague inclination to catapult myself out of this world and into another. The neighborhood I had put my heart into for a number of years, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, was becoming a culture mall for Manhattanites and the tender Utopian bonds of my community were peeling away. What materialized in my apartment on Grand Street, Williamsburg, was a sanctuary of sorts. It wasn't exactly tranquil, but it did serve as a stabilizing agent for my thoughts and media experiments.
The Hyperhive could be described as an inside-out jungle gym with narrow passages leading out in every direction. It supported gatherings of a somewhat gymnastic sort and its symmetry along three axis was intended to suggest, and perhaps to facilitate, wide open verbal and non-verbal dialogue. As Williamsburg proceeded to gentrify and fragment into academic disciplines outside, I may have been following a fetishistic urge to encapsulate our early bubble of ecstatic, interdisciplinary culture. Many of my public media rituals had been studies in electronically-augmented communal being so I suppose the Hyperhive also had ontological tendencies. It was an attempt, perhaps, to zero in on a collective node, to give architectural flesh to a nexus of open exchange.
Gatherings in the Hyperhive (AlulA phase)
The snapshots, above, were taken by Vernon Bigman during various parties in the mid 1990s. People hanging from the poles include Diane Apostolacus, Geoff Seelinger and myself. Hafsa Ibrahim is chilling on the floor to the right.
The Hyperhive's first physical incarnation, AlulA, was used for a variety of media and intercoding experiments, including the sheer act of conducting life around it. My roommate, Hafsa Ibrahim, could either crawl through the Hyperhive to her quarters or squeeze around the outside. We held numerous rituals, meetings, dinners and parties inside the structure.
Lalalandia, Williamsburg's early 90s art/performance/club wizards held court with other vespertine culture innovators such as Geoff Gompertz, director of FakeShop and media artist, Cary Peppermint. A West Coast internet sensation from the mid-90s, Bianca's Smut Shack, stopped in for a "Linkage Ceremony" while they went on tour. The first formal meeting of Port took place there with Robin Murphy, GH Hovagimyan, Remo Campopiano and myself. Port was an internet experiment in 1997 which ultimately converged at MIT's List Visual Arts Center. More established figures from the media arts also made a trip to The AlulA Dimension, including intermedia pioneer, Hans Breder, Downtown Guggenheim Museum director, Matthew Drutt, art historian, Jonathan Fineberg, fimmaker Iara Lee and foundation czar, George Gund.
A small tribe of media artists and performers helped to experiment with the AlulA phase of the Hyperhive including Kevin Pyle, Stavit Allweiss, David Brody, Al Arthur, Ruth Kahn, Carlton Bright, Milene Fernandez, Amy Shapiro, Cynthia de Fren, Ruthie Austen, Frank Senger, Todd Lefelt, Felicia O'Connell and Hafsa Ibrahim. Much of this early work was marked by equal measures of careful planning and delicious chaos. Needless to say, that early Hypercube structure needed several coats of paint over the course of its life.
Time permitting, more images from my archive will be posted here. If anyone has still or video images of the AlulA phase of the Hyperhive, please let me know. We'll get them up.
Actor, Frank Senger, in the Hyperhive
© 2006 Ebon Fisher