Last weekend Auntie Skunk and I took a little THC trip to Factory Obscura’s latest immersive art installation, MIX-TAPE, in Downtown OKC. The brilliance is not only in the design of the experience — which is fantastic on so many levels — but in just how well they know their key demographic of Wayne Coyne and stoners, in that order. While there was a strict no vaping policy inside, they didn’t mind us coming in smelling like Skunks. Here are five reasons why Factory Obscura MIX-TAPE was obviously made for stoners…and why you might love it, too.
1. Play Areas to Release Energy
Sativa really hypes me up, and we had a little sour diesel beforehand, so blasting down the trippy tunnel of love into a tall room with clouded ceilings and so many climbable objects was insane! We played inside the art! Stairs that go right up into a cloud — and caves within the clouds for me to wiggle-worm through — only to end up at a giant swirly slide that spits you out next to swings that swung in the most hypnotic way. Sitting down and swaying to the soothing sounds of what I can only describe as angelic voices…I’m sure all the parents watching were thrilled to see me up there right next to little Timmy, but it had the same effect. We both got our jitters out and became much more bearable to be around.
Stay home if you have a disorder triggered by flashing lights, because you absolutely will have your cones and rods excited. This place is the love child of a rave that hooked up with a Flaming Lips concert in the bathroom at a Pink Floyd laser light show. With so many screens and projections creating a surreal atmosphere, it did feel as if we were being transported to the physical realm and embodiment of Eros, Aphrodite or Cupid. Bulbs and LEDs of every shape, size and color are everywhere and enhanced by the cool 3D glasses they sell for a dollar at the door. Everything glowed, from the floors to the ceiling, even the fuzzy avocado shaped bulge on the wall.
Yes, stroke the fuzzy wall. I know it might be unsanitary, but everything there is meant to be touched, poked, prodded and messed with in the best ways. It’s how you experience art! Walking through a hallway full of streamers, squishing inflatable foam balls to produce a musical bubble on a screen, grass and fuzz and tactile sensations everywhere created an almost ecstatic state.
My hands also found Auntie Skunk, the exhibit working its magic on me and other couples with the many nooks and crannies for people to steal a quick kiss in. Don’t get carried away kids, there are watchful sunglassed employees about!
Fun with Strangers 500 Miles Away
If you haven’t heard of Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, they’re an artsy group doing incredibly cool things all the time. A live audio and video connection links Mix-Tape in OKC to Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return in Santa Fe, allowing stoners at both locations to communicate, collaborate and forget about what they were saying — in real time.
This made for some extremely entertaining people-watching and convos with strangers. I bragged to several people on the Santa-Fe side of the portal about Oklahoma’s fantastic marijuana and gun laws; politics; weather…and whether or not the art behind them looked like a dick. All are important topics made easier with some weed and an artsy time-space continuum.
Details for Days
While many people were enjoying the macro, my stoned eyes were drawn to the small details in each section. From small dioramas depicting clay root vegetables in various stages of love to a bricked back alley, complete with trash can and pizza rats, you can get lost in it all. My favorite was a teenage girl’s room with a notebook that had a secret code key in the back for a book that we found on the other side of the place just before we left. Excitedly running back, it stated, “All you need is love.” And weed…
—Uncle Skunk funk debunks punk monks
ABOUT FACTORY OBSCURA MIX-TAPE – In a world of drag-and-drop, Factory Obscura has hand-crafted their own 20th-century take on the classic audio autobiography: a grassroots playlist of emotions inspired by the music that made us who we are. The result is a 6,000 sq ft visual, auditory, and tactile art experience built just for you, my stoner friends.