Swing Backward, Drone Ahead

The Future's Imperfect and the Past Is Always Here

From 1950s sci-fi to 1980s techno, attempted representations of the future in art and music have often seemed painfully dated when the future they've imagined actually arrives. It's too early to know how well Chris Strouth's electronic-huh? showcase, Future Perfect, will fare, but it has already built a nice foundation. In its two-year history, the roving multimedia fest has embraced everything from pedestrian digs (First Avenue) to stuffy, high-art environs (the Walker).

For Future Perfect 6 on November 14, Strouth opted for the middle ground at Intermedia Arts' industrial warehouse space. Intermedia actually failed to provide the free-floating social vibe present at FP's May installment at the Weisman Art Museum, where a gorgeous storm system outside battled visually with the lysergic images projected on the wall.

But with a rotating crew of electronicats on the bill (32 artists took part), FP 6 was the best attempt yet to provide an interactive forum for the local electronic underground, outside of our nascent rave culture.

The four-hour performance was loosely based around the theme of the positive, negative, and "non" influences of drugs on art. Greazy Meal bassist Jim Anton, with Detroit's Jeremy Ylvisaker, purged their rock roots under the moniker Throb Pod, and merged as an organic techno unit. Ex-Ousia brain Jason Shapiro debuted solo as FETIK3, performing a piece that sounded like a deconstruction of the Close Encounters theme. Some guy named Radar Threat subjected us to an entrancing 20-minute deluge of syncopated distortion. And the local DJ darling of the moment, Ts, brought the event to a premature climax with an impossibly non-linear cut 'n' paste pop-cult odyssey. If this is the future, let me on board.

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