In the Mix

Party in silence at ARTafterDARK

February 24th, 2016

ASSOCIATED PRESSParticipants in a silent disco wear headsets at a railway station in Paris during the 14th edition of "Nuit Blanche," or "Sleepless Night," last October.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Participants in a silent disco wear headsets at a railway station in Paris during the 14th edition of "Nuit Blanche," or "Sleepless Night," last October.


The Honolulu Museum of Art wraps up Black History Month on Friday with a party that promises to be equal parts funky and freaky.

ARTafterDARK’s theme this month is “Afrofuture,” a nod to the cultural aesthetic that has blossomed over the last 25 years and blends historical African elements with sci-fi and steampunk influences. The party will feature an art projection by Afrofuture artist Ed Hemphill; a screening of John Akomfrah’s Afrofuture film “The Last Angel of History” is also planned.

The freaky part? At some point in the evening you’ll find 500 people in a courtyard at the museum gyrating in silence.

No, I’m not predicting a mass mental breakdown — minds may melt during “Afrofuture,” but it will be thanks to music being pumped through wireless headphones to create what the museum is calling the first large-scale silent disco in Honolulu.

“Apparently there have been weddings and stuff,” explained Honolulu Museum of Art communications director Lesa Griffith. “We’re saying it’s the first large public one.”

ASSOCIATED PRESSA silent disco turned a Paris railway station into a giant nightclub last year.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A silent disco turned a Paris railway station into a giant nightclub last year.

Griffith said HMA deputy director Hathaway Jakobsen was among the staff who first floated the idea of hosting a silent disco about a year ago, but it was ARTafterDARK volunteer advisory board member Eddie Quan and special events associate Wainani Paikai who helped make it a reality. The museum is working with New York-based Sound Off Experience to bring the silent disco concept to Honolulu this week.

The first 500 people who show up on Friday will receive a wireless headset with access to not just one, but three different channels of music. DJs Maynard G, Davey Shindig, Sejika and count weevil will be represented by different colors while they spin, with headsets lighting up with the respective color as guests choose their favorite playlist.

“There’s a competition aspect for the DJs,” Griffith said. “They’ll be able to see who is the most popular.”

ARTafterDARK: “Afrofuture” goes from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Honolulu Museum of Art, 900 S. Beretania St. Admission is $25 (includes one year HMA membership); free for HMA members. Call (808) 532-8700 or visit artafterdark.org.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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