Co LaB Camp Inspo: Art Collectives of LIB
March 3rd, 2020
Since the beginning, LIB has been made up of a compilation of different crews coming together to create something special. From the build team, to the volunteers, to the wide array of art and interactive teams that we’ve worked with, the foundation of LIB is based on collaboration.
To celebrate this spirit of collaboration and to show you and your crew what’s possible when dreaming up a Co LaB Camp, we sat down with a few of the creative minds behind some of your favorite art collectives who frequent LIB. These are just a few of the dozens of amazing crews and projects that have created with us over the years. Read their stories and then take the first step to bringing your crew’s ideas to life by applying to start your own Co LaB Camp HERE!
LIB attendees can find herbal elixirs, shaded lounges and a menagerie of workshops and performances at Unicorn Palace, a Vaudeville Burlesque performance space with sex-positive and queer acts, nestled in the trees by the shoreline at Buena Vista Lake. Mark Balderman-Highlove of Unicorn Palace got involved with LIB after attending in 2008. He loved that first LIB experience and began volunteering to promote the event and led the street teams in Central California. From vending to volunteering, to teaching workshops on how to raise backyard chickens, and performing and building with Lucent Dossier, Highlove participated in many aspects of LIB before eventually birthing the New Fangled Opry – a vaudeville variety and burlesque staple at Amori’s Casino.
Highlove along with Alexa Rohn and their clowning cohorts hosted the Highlove Vitality Elixir Lounge and performance space from 2015-2017 before giving the space a glow-up as the Unicorn Palace in 2018, with the help of Flipa Switch Love and countless others. The community-created outlet features workshops on relationships, consent, herbal health and more during the day and turns into a side-splitting night of performance, aerial, pole dancing, wild clowning and mischief.
“LIB is a place where we express our creativity, a place to be free to a degree greater than anywhere else. For some people it’s Burning Man, for me it’s LIB. A place to create art and be together with the best team in the world. It’s a creative village that thrives on resourcefulness and sharing”
Jive Joint producer, Super Tall Paul participated in the very first LIB in a performance by his band Helios Jive. Before then Helios Jive played the summertime birthday parties that evolved into the gathering we all know and love as LIB. Playing as a marked set in a stage morphed over the years into creating an interactive environment called the Jive Joint featuring live interactive art, improv workshops, improv theater, live music, open mics, and variety shows.
When asked how the years creating with LIB has impacted the rest of his career and projects, Super Tall Paul shared, “Due to LIB’s supportive environment, it has been the breeding ground of all of my creative endeavors. All of the amazing talent in covering so many mediums has pushed me well past what I originally thought I wanted to do to actually doing all that I have become interested in. I am now a welder, framer, builder, fabricator, promoter, social experimenter, along with my original pursuits of being a musician and performer. I now just wrap it all up into the title, Artist.”
Grand Artique at LIB is well known for its eclectic musical programming and entertainment found inside their provincial town of Frontierville. What many folks may not know is that the Grand Artique began as a roving cart at LIB 2010. The funky little cart, made from recycled and reclaimed items, was a mini general store in and of itself, and was the first inception of the General Store you see at LIB today.
Ian Xavier, of the Grand Artique, says “LIB has been an inspirational playground for creative growth and a platform for the Grand Artique team to push the envelope on what we want to put out into the world.” His first LIB experience was in 2008, where he came as an attendee but quickly saw the chance to help out, so he volunteered his time in the art gallery and giveaway bar working alongside Michael Russek. Over the years, the little Grand Artique cart became a fully realized, large scale, immersive environment with the majority of its additions created and curated from reclaimed and recycled materials. This ethos of ‘reuse, recycle, reclaim, repair’ has been at the heart of many Grand Artique projects as well as in their brick and mortar store and event space, “Grand Artique Salvage” located in San Diego’s Barrio Logan district.
Committed to self-exploration through artistic expression, The Fungineers live to inspire a more colorful and jubilant existence. Their LIB story begins in 2011 when The Fungineers played a show on the Bamboo Stage [which later evolved into the present-day Thunder Stage.] The group was based in Canada back then and embarked on an epic road trip to their first LIB.
They went from performing on stage to creating their first immersive environment called The Sitcommune for two years before debuting the Fungineers Ice Cream Truck at LIB.
We asked Kyrian Bobeerian of The Fungineers how creating with LIB has influenced their projects over the years, “LIB has such a home-like feeling! We have met and connected deeply with so many amazing artists and humans over the years that we work with regularly. Also it is a great place to try new ideas out, and since it is in the beginning of the summer it sets a good tone for the rest of the festival season.”