In June 2010, Proteus Gowanus held its first benefit party, an outdoor extravaganza with music, food, workshops and a performance entitled Optiks/Alley. A multimedia installation/performance by Paul Benney and friends, Optiks/Alley was inspired by Newton’s Opticks and by West Side Story. Benefit guests were transported down our turn-of-the-century industrial alleyway on dolleys passing slowly through a dream-like world of theatrical lighting and video accompanied by an original urban sound collage.
At the end of the alley, tables were laden with wine and food from JOYA restaurant, as the courtyard resonated with the lively strains of the Union Street Preservation Society band. Inside Proteus Gowanus, a Laboratory of Protean Workshops provided entertainment late into the evening. They included:
Rocketworks Countdown 3, a triptych moon launch video by David Eustace
Improvisational Mending with the Fixers Collective
Individual and Dual Stunts in the Reanimation Library
A Secret Museum, a private viewing of Morbid Anatomy Library’s collection
The Mysteries of the Gowanus Unveiled in our Hall of the Gowanus
An Oulipian Escapade with the Writhing Society