Kickstart SOMArt's Underground Performance Art Marathon


I've come to rely on SOMArts for a running calendar of envelope-pushing events and exhibits (i.e. the Underground Market, monthly Feast of Words literary potlucks, annual Dia de los Muertos extravaganza, not to mention all of the exhibits). A few years ago, curator and gallery director Justin Hoover clued me in to a show idea he was toying with that would make unprecedented use of SOMArt's exhibition space. He walked me over to an old sand-casting pit (from the building's days as the Union Machine Company) in the middle of the gallery and told me he wanted to run a performance art marathon inside the hole—literally. I can't say that I was surprised—Hoover's mind is always working outside of the box to come up with ways of challenging traditional notions of and forums for art. His idea evolved into 100 Performances for the Hole (a previous iteration took place in his parents' garage), an art-a-thon of 100 two-minute mini shows from dusk until the middle of the night.

Needless to say, 100 Performances was a feat of endurance and willpower (for the artists, staff, and even the audience), and the show became a staple on the "underground" art scene. Now, Hoover and his team are resurrecting the show—which may very well evolve again over the next several months—but in order to make it a reality in January 2014, they need to raise enough moola to bring it back to life. And that's where we all come in. SOMArts needs to raise $10,000 by June 30 or this project might not come to fruition.

Don't tune me out just yet—donations of every level count, whether you're a big whig in the tech world with money in your pocket to burn or a starving artist with only $100 in your bank account. SOMArts is the kind of place that makes things happen from the ground up, so even if you can only contribute $1, you'll be part of making something truly grass roots happen. Check it out here, and decide for yourself. Just keep in mind that the clock is ticking.

100 Performances for the Hole, Jan. 4, 2014; SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan St.,

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