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Dane Clark Collins

Transient Revival

Written by Dane Clark Collins

Renowned fantasy artist Mike Bielaczyc (Aradani Studios, Dragonlance) recently invited me to participate in the creation of an art exhibit of ambitious magnitude. My part was to create a soundscape that would enhance the atmosphere of an already dark and eerie exploration into the experience of belief, awakening, fate, and free will.

The opening was tremendous, and we would like to thank everyone who made it out. I saw close friends, old acquaintances, people I haven’t seen in over a decade, and met quite a few new people…all coming together to witness Mike’s creation. My initial announcement regarding this project may have read like an extreme exaggeration, but as it turns out, it wasn’t an exaggeration in the least.

When you first walked out into the parking lot where it was setup, you were instantly greeted by real traveling vendors and entertainers. They came from all over the country to be a part of the show, all dressed in their traditional garb, selling costumes, art, pirate gear, and other rare and artistic valuables.

At the end of the row of vendors and entertainers stood a giant tent shining solid white against the dingy foreground, rising high above the rest with its steepled top and symbol-shaped spire. Once making your way through the thick crowd of fairies, fire juggling, pirates, and tuxedo-garbed satyrs, you then found yourself at the entrance to the tent. Before walking in, you could already hear the torturous sounds that would set the tone for the eerie experience that awaited inside.

Inside the tent was the core of this project—the product of months of difficult, diligent, costly, and sometimes even bloody labor. From the ceiling hung a ceramic phallic spiraled beehive dripping honey from its tip into a white ceramic baptismal bowl. To the right was a screen embedded into the tent wall, playing a nightmarish video of bees, jellyfish, and a clay man slowly drowning in the baptismal honey. To the left was a screen playing a video that also included bees, jellyfish, and baptism, only in this one Mike’s own face wore the honey, which slowly ascended upward off of his face allowing him to finally open his eyes and experience a new awareness.

The revolving crowd of onlookers on the inside was consistently pressed thick, with word of mouth spreading and everyone packing in to watch the full animations. In the time I spent inside, I heard only authentic praise and appreciation for the work that was obviously put into its creation, and for the atmosphere and originality of the final result.

Much of the project will be on display at Watkins for the next month, and soon Mike will be putting the animations together with the music so that it can be viewed online. The music will be posted separately on InhumanGenome.com.