Art Nerd City Guides: New York · Los Angeles

Describing ‘Station to Station’

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A music festival meets a circus meets art is what I found at Station to Station‘s Oakland event last week. There were tents, stages, and an artsy/angsty crowd but it was the venue I couldn’t take my eyes off of. Oakland’s 16th Street Station is beautifully dilapidated — graffiti obscuring old brick with a wide open room that’s architecturally ornate – like Grand Central’s long lost sister from another life.

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Two videos duelled on either side of this open space, projections larger than life and containing repeating clips of people — dancing, laughing, anything. Buried in a stairwell niched in the long far wall was another stage, smaller than the giant one that faced the audience-filled field outside.

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Outside art hung against ancient brick walls, and people stood in long lines to enter ‘art tents.’ They were mini-universes where the art was how you reacted to the space, not the space itself. I didn’t wait, but a woman who did told me it took 20 minutes to get into a white tent. Inside she found a white plush bed, and other visitors were jumping on it and burying themselves deep in the covers. A collective space experienced a few at a time.

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