This collection was originally published as part of my book, outer ][ space. I've added it here for easier access and consistent documentation.
Coming home late one night, I heard the rapid thump of bass as I rounded the corner a few blocks from my apartment. Growing louder with each step, I realized it was coming from the basement of my building. I was deeply curious but too exhausted to dance, so I went into the bar the next morning to find out what all the ruckus was. The bartender handed me a Groovy Groovy flyer.
There it was right at the top, the permission to go all out I struggled to find at so many clubs: if you are not sweating you are doing it wrong. This was first and foremost a place to move my body. Even more reassuring was its open invitation, balancing out the intensity: if you do not know by now we will teach you. Come on in. Give it a shot. This is more than a flyer: it’s a code of conduct and a passionate statement of intent.
Finding this flyer was my breakthrough in the quest for the rave. I scoured the internet to learn more about the party, chasing the vague connections between DJs and promoters. I finally made it to my first proper warehouse party at The Black Hole a few weeks later, which caught my eye with the bold comic book presentation of its flyers. A great flyer doesn’t guarantee a great party - but I found it to be a useful hint.
Flyers prepare us for the night to come. They give us a little taste of what the music and mood of the party aspire towards. Over time, they help establish the identity of the party and its promoter. The best flyers can be a landmark in our memories, representing the full spirit of the party more honestly than any photo or video.
In the age of social media, flyers are often relegated to the cramped confines of banners and thumbnails. Some promoters have given up investing in the flyer; it simply doesn’t make sense to spend time and money on some thing that only a handful of people might appreciate. Others have continued to make the effort, but their brilliant works of art are languishing in the archives of inactive Facebook pages and abandoned Instagram accounts.
This is my attempt to document and preserve some of my favorite pieces from the last few years. These flyers represent parties from across the underground techno and house scenes of Brooklyn and DC. I’ve tried to select a little bit of everything: from the self-serious grimdark techno flyers, the purple-pastel explosions of queer parties, to the silly memes of monthly parties and Bossa one-offs. It’s just a sliver of the creative genius and raw passion that can be found throughout the underground dance community.
✴ ✴ ✴ 18 H O U R P A R T Y ✴ ✴ ✴ ✴ ✴ ✴ F R E E H O T D O G S ✴ ✴ ✴ // 4 SEPARATE STAGES \\ DAYWALKER PARTY PAVILION eXpeRi-mEnTaL LIVE X0NE NORTHERN AMBIENT ENCLAVE BASEMENT NY™ SUBLEVEL INDOORS! OUTDOORS!! WOWT-DOORS!!! ̿ ̿̿'̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪●)=/̵͇̿̿/'̿̿ ̿ ̿ FULL SCALE LASER IMMERSION BY || NITEMIND ||| ♫♪.ılılıll|̲̅̅●̅|̲̅ ̲̅̅=̲̅̅|̲̅̅●̅|̲̅ llılılı.♫♪ 8-POINT SOUNDBATH SALON CURATED BY || CT::SWaM || ARTISTICAL ENHANCEMENTS & SCULPTURAL SIGNIFIERS BY: EMMA STERN MICHAEL BILSBOROUGH LEAH DIXON NICKOLAUS TYPALDOS PHOTOS BY ||| LUIS NIETO DICKENS ||| & COSMIC COOKOUT COURTESY OF OUR FRIENDS AT //✴.✴//~~// REMEDI FOOD //~~//✴.✴// ●▬▬▬▬▬▬✴ ۩۩ ✴▬▬▬▬▬▬● A warm welcome to all would-be Worlders, as well as any wayward wardens of the Word Wild Web. =|;) It is with an abundance of gratitude and a profound sense of relief that we are able to address you in full today nearly one whole calendar month prior with another eagerly extensive outline of all intentions to assemble. As before, we ask for a brief moment of heedful consideration, as we proceed to preempt any whats-its and supposes With similarly figmental phrasings of inexplicably grand design. But first! Why not start with the reality of the situation. In years preceding, we’d imagine you’ve grown rather accustomed to the: - lack of punctual promotion - shortage of cleanly commodes - overall dubious nature of our many boisterous claims And while we might contest that at least one of those factors could be equitably endearing, as our worldliness has increased sixfold, so to have our obligations. And no we won’t shirk ‘em! Be it a community proclivity or a new sensitivity, let it be known as it was before: These words come by way of a kitschy composite you can count on, and as your incorporeal envoy and unlikely impresario, it remains our solemnly sworn duty to always… ´¨) ¸.•´¸.•´¨) ¸.•*¨) (¸.•´ (¸.•` ¤ …… K e e p O n C o n s i d e r a t i n’ (Although for the record, we must maintain that the extenuating circumstances behind any past delinquent dispatches have always been thoroughly downplayed. Why, at this point we’ve lost count of how many times we’ve been led on by larcenists, harangued by heisters, or broadly beset by bad fortune at damn near each and every turn.) Nevertheless, the WINDS OF CHANGE continue to blow, and now duly avowed, we await the sounding of summer, and the rarely paralleled alignment of energies this metropolis perpetually provides. =-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Yes indeed... Got like hmm, 3 whole weeks, really. Guess we’ll just be here, ya know. Whistlin’ our lil tune… (˳˘ ɜ˘) ✴♪♫ ∙∙∙∙∙·▫▫ᵒᴼᵒ▫ₒₒ▫ᵒᴼᵒ▫ₒₒ▫ᵒᴼᵒ☼)===>∙∙∙∙∙· (✴ˠ✴) ✴✴ (✴_ ✴) ?! ? ? ? ∙∙∙∙∙·▫▫ᵒᴼᵒ▫ₒₒ▫ᵒᴼᵒ▫ₒₒ▫ᵒᴼᵒ☼)===>∙∙∙∙∙· Whoa there ez breezeway! Why you skitterin' across our hide? Did you just now place in our proverbial pocket A gift so we might better provide? To relieve of us of alliteration, and deliver to us words anew, Much as food to wine In the life refined, Why it’s The Worlder’s Pairing Menu… ●▬▬▬▬▬▬✴ ۩۩ ✴▬▬▬▬▬▬▬● Some Real Tall Orders A World Without Borders Pitch Perfect Weather? Ball Gag & Leather! A Message Heaven Sent An Impeached President Big Tunes Blasting LOVE EVERLASTING ●▬▬▬▬▬▬✴ ۩۩ ✴▬▬▬▬▬▬▬● ∙∙∙∙∙·▫▫ᵒᴼᵒ▫ₒₒ▫ᵒᴼᵒ▫ₒₒ▫ᵒᴼᵒ☼)===>∙∙∙∙∙·▫▫ᵒᴼᵒ▫ₒₒ▫ᵒᴼᵒ▫ₒₒ▫ᵒᴼᵒ☼)===> Wow. What. a. parchment. Thank you there, you kindly zephyr! Maybe next time I can pair YOU with some hasenpfeffer =-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Checklists a-checkered and all chads fully punched we turn our attention now to our lovely locale. =-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- And what a site it is! THE KNOCKDOWN CENTER, friends and familiars. A 50,000 sq ft monument to industry, And a truly breath-taking backdrop by any and all accounts. GAZE upon its many rafters. EXPLORE its varied terrain. RUMINATE on the fact that for 18 long hours, this will be our oh-so-striking stronghold. Yes, an architectural marvel that’s now a canvas on which to create, where we will lounge by light of day, and by night form as one, inside a living, breathing TECHNOCRUSHER SUPERSTRUCTURE It is within this bygone factory of glass, that we will ignite the fires inside us and polish the lens once more, so that we might see ourselves... reflected in another! And just as the eponymous knockdown door frame aided advancements of the art of construction, so too will its birthplace serve a greater purpose... In prying open the DOORS OF PERCEPTION. (That was invented here btw. The Knockdown door. Revolutionized the distribution of door and door frame related accessories, really. Not to say this is some kind of prefab party. No siree. Why, pick a wall any wall and it should take only one lick to remind you that these bricks are STEEPED in history.) And yes, set against these old storehouse ruins, WE are living art. ✴( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡° )✴──✴*:✴ Yep. There we are. Just look at us. All gussied up. Why if we didn’t know any better we’d tell us that... Your regalia is resplendent! Your dancing most divine! May the contours of your figure against the moonlight forever shine. ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ So COLUMN like you see ‘em, folks!! BEAM with pride!!! WINDOWSSssss…..dance contests there’s gonna be a lot of them...and maybe some prize money? or maybe not bc we all know well that the dance dance revolution will NOT be televised tyvm!! ... ....... ............. where were we again? oh right. =-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Lest we forget, a simple reaffirmation of our most important caveat. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ✴✴✴ RESPECT FOR OTHERS ABOVE ALL ✴✴✴ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ALL who conduct themselves with decency are welcome. ALL persuasions & orientations. ALL walks of life. ᵛᵉᵧₒᵤᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ ᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ ᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ ᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ ᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ ᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ ᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ ᵛᵉᵧₒᵤᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ ᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ ᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ ᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ ᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ ᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ ᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ ᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ No matter your creed, nor your physical condition, if you've found yourself here because this music moves you, and carry goodness within your heart, then we are your ally — for to be among like minds in harmony is the greatest gift we can imagine. ᵛᵉᵧₒᵤᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ ᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ ᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ ᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ ᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ ᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ ᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ ᵛᵉᵧₒᵤᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ ᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ ᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ ᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ ᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ ᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ ᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ ᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ It is in you that we are reminded that beneath the unremitting roar that rounds the reckoning of our nation, past the wake of any lines that seek to deepen the divide, lies the throughway to a future that’s been swirling in the ether, and a portal to the potential that's been gathering inside. Where clemency remains, and compassion can unite. Where ingenuity reigns, we just might be alright. A vision of tomorrow. With it's very own catacomb! A world of our own making. A world we’d all call home. . ѧѦ ѧ ✴͡✴ ̢ ̱ ̧̱ι̵̱̊ι̶̨̱ ̶̱ ✴ Ѧѧ ✴͡ ✴ ѧ Ѧ ̵̗̊o̖ ̵ ✴ ѦѦ ʕ•̫͡•ʕ̫͡ʕ•͓͡•ʔ-̫͡-ʕ•̫͡•ʔ̫͡ʔ-̫͡-ʔʕ•̫͡•ʕ̫͡ʕ•͓͡•ʔ-̫͡-ʕ•̫͡•ʔ ʕ•̫͡•ʕ̫͡ʕ•͓͡•ʔ-̫͡-ʕ•̫͡•ʔ̫͡ʔ-̫͡-ʔʕ•̫͡•ʕ̫͡ʕ•͓͡•ʔ-̫͡-ʕ•̫͡•ʔ̫͡ʔ ʕ•͓͡•ʔ-̫͡-ʕ•̫͡•ʔ̫͡ʔ-̫͡-ʔ-̫͡-ʕ•̫͡•ʔ̫͡ʔ-̫͡ʕ•̫͡•ʕ̫͡ʕ•͓͡•ʔ-̫͡-ʕ•̫͡• . ѧѦ ѧ ✴͡✴ ̢ ̱ ̧̱ι̵̱̊ι̶̨̱ ̶̱ ✴ Ѧѧ ✴͡ ✴ ѧ Ѧ ̵̗̊o̖ ̵ ✴ ѦѦ
Bonus: Deleted Flyers
These flyers didn't make it into the final edition of the book, mostly due to space restrictions. If you know the design credits, please get in touch!