Outsider Night

Goths at the mall, poets at Penumbra, and Christians on the dance floor

To stimulate party people, FUSE has cleared more space in the cellar and upped the visual component. Televisions are placed throughout the house, beaming live images of noted DJs spinning in the basement--Drone playing hard drum 'n ' bass, Isaac Anthony throwing down bouncy house. These shots alternate with a lo-fi home-video drama produced especially for the party. In the vid, a mad scientist (played by FUSE resident Dave Olson) hides the formula to cold fusion. The story serves as a prelude to some of the party's organized entertainment. Throughout the night, house residents hide oversized puzzle pieces around the building, and whoever finds a piece wins either a Solus CD or a FUSE T-shirt. That is, if she can answer a quiz question about cold fusion, FUSE, or how many televisions there are in the house.

The game ingeniously extends the scavenger-hunt aspects of raver hotlines and map-points into the party itself, while the theme references the scientific establishment's rejection of even the possibility of cold fusion. It's a riff on close-mindedness, basically, with the unusually literate party invitation referring to various persecutions suffered by Galileo and the Wright Brothers. Specifically, and implicitly, Cold Fusion is about the reluctance of the rave community to accept FUSE's notion that moderation, introspection, and spirituality can cure any number of scene ills. Given rave culture's drug-damaged partiers, cliquishness, and creeping commercialism, this is an experiment worth repeating.

 

Industrial Strength Sundays begin around 9:00 p.m. at Gator's Nightclub in the Mall of America. There is no cover charge; (612) 858-8888. The next Red Lights and Poetry takes place Friday, June 4 at 10:30 p.m. in the Penumbra Theatre, 270 North Kent Street, St. Paul. Admission is $8; (651) 224-3180. The next FUSE party is tentatively planned for July; (612) 722-1696.

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