By Jessica Bailey

Columnist

It’s fucking Friday and I want to address these rumors flying around that “the scene” whatever that means is dying. People don’t care anymore, everyone hates each other, and the cops are cracking down. Art and music go together like blood and pain. Where there’s one, there’s the other. It’s a violent, brutal, marriage brought together by intense and inescapable passion. But with two major events going on last Saturday night at competing art galleries in one small town, it seems that even in this god-forsaken place dominated by Greek life, the marriage is still going strong.

Last Saturday, Oct. 20, a group of students at Spark organized a fundraiser to give the space a much-needed facelift. The space has been around since 1999 and if those walls could talk, they’d probably scream through heavy distortion. The theme of this crowd is clearly one of conservation. They are older, more polished, and treat the space more like a high-class gallery. A few women are in heels, the men are in blazers, and everyone looks at me like I’m about a decade too young to be there. One of the bands on the line-up, Milking Diamonds, seem like they were heavily influenced by new wave bands in their younger years. It’s refreshing to see the art community is not just a generational thing. There are all kinds of people here hoping to preserve that same passion for creativity for as long as this city will allow.

On the other side of the coin are the punk-azz kidz that populate the fringes of the university culture and the Syracuse art scene. Their message is delights in the playful destruction of the status quo. They are looking to burst through the suffocating plastic boundaries that life has created for them like an alien baby from a human womb. This show, held in Smith Gallery on-campus, taps into the central nerve of the city. The lust for life, the throbbing libido, of the youth shows through — and I mean that both literally and figuratively. There were a lot of dicks here, and I also mean that literally and figuratively. One 20 Watts staffer in particular inflated a balloon and paraded around with it in his pants for half the night. One wonders whether this served as a visual metaphor for his own freshly inflated ego. Meanwhile, David Faes fronts his newest project, Video Drag, wearing lingerie and fishnet hold-ups to accentuate his, uh…instrument. No one is surprised.

But the show didn’t really kick off until all the real dicks left or got tucked away as Evan Paschke and Paul Esposito played some kind of strange mix of Bauhaus electropop accented by the iTunes visualizer projected in the background. Suddenly there was a seismic shift in the room as everyone collectively dropped the lead bricks of self-consciousness that were weighing them down. What started as an impromptu competition to see who could do the weirdest dance, ended with a giant pumpkin being smashed on the ground and all the orbiting bodies circling around like we were in some kind of cult-like ritual.

Which is all very appropriate because art is about sacrificing yourself to the gods of creativity. It’s about opening yourself up to the freedom of expression and letting it flow through the streets. No one could ever truly contain that and no matter what befalls this city whether it’s worn-down art galleries, falling ceilings, or over-zealous officers, we will always find a way to keep this community alive.

Check out Jessica’s column every fucking Friday.