( From Left: Igloo Martian, Circuit Ben, Datura 1.0, TC, Eraser, Jar from Beatrix*Jar )
Written By: Rodney Clark
Here I am three days after getting back from Bent Fest MPLS 2008 and I’m still a buzz. Once again I made the journey with my brother (Igloo Martian) whom I picked up in route in La Crosse, Wisconsin. He was slated that same night to open the festivities for MPLS with a performance at 8pm. It was the start of an endless assault of bent madness. Every single performer, Installation artist, and workshop host, gave it their all and none fell short of amazing. There were 3 installations, 5 workshops, 1 BBQ, and 18 live performances. Notables this year were all of the international friends I had a chance to make. In the Midwest we were graced with artist such as, Eraser from Italy, Dr. Rek from Japan, and The Circuit Ben Reaction along with DJ Tendraw from the UK. All of whom were the coolest cats east of the pond. I spent most of the down time chillin’ with the European crowd, taking to them about thrifting. The look on their eyes… as they walked into the thrift shops, was that of a child on his or her 6th birthday. It was altogether the greatest gift to these guys… just to walk into the places we seldom celebrate, due to our lack of any shortage of thrifting in the USA. They were all quick to let me know they have nothing like it in their countries and were stoked to be able to score a few good possible bends on the cheap. Beside the international crowd, there were a few other national benders I had wanted to meet for a while. So that too was a huge pleasure, not to mention all the old friends and faces from past gatherings I was able to reconnect with. All in all a great weekend full of bending. (Oh…and somewhere during the weekend I sold a couple CD’s and fit in a performance of my own, under the preforming name Life as Number Five.) In closing…probably the biggest thing I took away, was the fact that the art of Bending is spreading. With the influx of regional and international artist’s only verifies the fact that this is no longer an American monopoly of a talent pool. Rather we need to branch out to Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, Africa, and yes if need be, the Antarctic. We should work on getting a fest to populated bent areas of the globe. Travel cost hold many back whom would like to be a part of the festivities. Maybe a festival…even if not under the name “BENT FEST” for a location / destination in my opinion would work out fine. As long as it’s an event organized to gather and spread the word of the art, that is quickly gaining a crowd. Until next year my friends!