Ideat Village ends this weekend, with eight hours of local bands Saturday the 30th in Pitkin Plaza and a 9 p.m. Sunday July 1 screening of the contestants in the Gorilla-Ideat 48-Hour Film Festival.
The bands are (in order of playing, starting at 2 p.m. and assuming half-hour sets): The Foresters, Then There Was One, Friends of Enemies, Doc Baker’s Traveling Musicological Extravaganza, White Women, The Royal Swindle, All in Blind, 10,000 Blades, Sperm Donors, Bucker’s Wild, The Dipshits, The Lost Riots, Tomb and Thirst and the reenergized local legends Defcon 5, which have had a slew of shows scheduled for June and July. The event is free and chaotic. Pitkin Plaza is at 141 Orange Street, near Devil’s Gear Bike Shop and the Brew coffeehouse.
Sunday’s films are all brand new, made in the last 48 hours by teams which had to follow a few set requirements, including an imposed genre, character, prop and line of dialogue.
Ideat Village info is at http://www.ideatvillage.org.
Ideat events are scattered, unpredictable, decidedly alt- and indie and counter- and post-.
There is a throughline, however, which can be found at the temporary Ideat Village headquarters at 118 Court Street. That’s where they hold the Orbit Art Gallery exhibition. It’s an unjuried show of glorious randomness—all the art that fits. When I visited it on Thursday, over six dozen artists were already represented, and several hundred artworks were on display. The mass of creativeity has continued to grow in the days since. They range from drawings by children to paintings by accomplished, internationally known artists such as Ken Grimes, from portraits of famous dead rock stars to a fake press kit concocted for a band which was created for a single Ideat-sponsored show at Café Nine last week.
Many of the works are by Ideat Village co-founder Bill Saunders, who joins the rock-portrait pantheon with a striking painting of Captain Beefheart, the avant-rock savant whom Saunders impersonates in the tribute band Doctor Dark. Also on display are various Little Miss Mess-Up memorabilia; she was a character whom Saunders portrayed throughout the 2000s, who appeared in picture books, paintings, tarot decks, porn pamplets and even ran for Mayor of New Haven.
Saunders' art is a world unto itself. The rest of the room is a dizzying blend of the profound and the artificial, the overwhelming to the overlooked. The whole gallery screams “community” and “whatever goes” and “here we are!” The bulb-headed icon of Ideat Village is represented sculpturally. There are works remarkable for their vivid colors, and other which embrace the blackest blacks and most washed-out whites.
It’s the kind of place where you want to start a ruckus—or end one, as with Sunday’s festival-concluding film festival. The Orbit Art show is in a grand tradition of community arts festivals and intersects neatly with another, much older art free-for-all, the wintertime Hygienic Art Festival in New London.
Enter the Orbit while you still can. It needs to be seen for its scene to be believed.