By Nastia Voynovskaya
To the uninitiated, it might seem unclear how the talks, screenings and performances might fit together at Eternal Now, the new event series presented by the Oakland arts collective Feels and billed as a “live psychedelic service.” But at the debut show in October at Oakland’s Humanist Hall, once I experienced the space-age jazz soundtrack, experimental films, interactive dance performance and onstage interviews with artists—with exuberant MC Fela Kutchii guiding viewers through the whole thing in character—it all coalesced into a trippy and surprisingly moving spectacle amid the colorful lights and otherworldly set design.
(If this programming seems different from previous Feels productions, which were more warehouse party-turned-music festival, it’s because Eternal Now is the new project of Feels co-founder Will Bundy after he and his creative partner Max Gibson split ways. Gibson now books shows in Oakland as Wine & Bowties.)
Eternal Now returns for its second edition at Oakland’s Starline Social Club on Jan. 11 with a reading from Jenny Odell, the author of How to do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, an essay collection that examines the pitfalls of living in an always-connected (yet increasingly disconnected) society. Odell will be in conversation with Ruth Gebreyesus, KQED’s food reporter and visual arts columnist. The program also includes films by Catalina Xavlena and Taylor Savvy, plus music by the Science Band (comprised of musicians from Salami Rose Joe Louis) and Alima Lee. Expect an evening of mind-expanding ideas and visuals.