Wednesday, May 6, 2009

CEREBRUM WAS AN INFLUENCE

My interest in images emerged strongly in the late '60s when I joined the crew at Cerebrum in NYC.

In 1968 an innovative entertainment concept was introduced in New York by Ruffin Cooper, Jr., a banker's son from Texas who was joined by a score or more of independent artists and media freaks. A ground-level Soho loft on Mercer Street became a nightly laboratory for mind bending excursions into film, sound, slides, mist, music, strobes and eroticism. Visitors exchanged their clothing at the door for sheer white gowns and were lead along a raised cat-walk to connected media platforms where they became canvases for the artists in the projection booths perched high at either end of the studio. Then Cerebrum Guides offered them toys for the senses, including headphones, Viewmasters, slide projectors, parachutes, spools of magnetic tape for unwinding, etc., so they could interact with other guests and the environment. There was usually just one event each night. The white gowns were laundered every day, usually. More can be read about Cerebrum by visiting this site:

http://www.interiordesign.net/article...

Cooper went on to become a Hog Farmer at the Woodstock Festival and a well known San Francisco based photographer of architectural subjects printed in mammoth scale. His show, Creating an Illusion: huge, consecutive photo details compositing the face of the Statue of Liberty, printed on fabric, spanned the length of the Port Authority Bus Terminal in NYC in 1985.

Creators of, and visitors to Cerebrum are invited to comment about their recollections. I'm happy to have been able to restore this film and I'm certain many of you will be happy to have seen it.

The film is an off-air from a local channel's broadcast crew (NYC)

3 comments:

  1. Bart,
    My names Larry. I was the "head guide" at Cerebrum. Do you remember me? Write me at Topangapan(at)Yahoo.com

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  2. Hi Bart

    Cerebrum started as a fun evening session in my loft around the corner, in the building where Dionysus in 69 was first performed. With Ruffin we went on to do a show in Omaha Nebraska called 'Ruffin Cooper's New World Sound Machine' ( article in Sunday World Herald, Omaha, April 14th 1968) and then came back to open the club, part of the funding came from my company, Fantastic Crate on Canal Street

    David

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  3. If any money comes out of this, I want my share as an Associate of 'Absolutely Unlimited, Ltd. I was the 'clerk of works' who built Cerebrum using volunteer labor culled from the few local artists and other assorted misfits, along with some professional help, viz. Damone Electric, Acoustic Research, Women's Wear Daily, etc. I was charged with interpreting Storyk's plan into reality in the fairly decrepit building at 429 Broome St. I remember dragging 400# radiators out to the sidewalk where we planned to pick them up in the morning for scrap metal money and, guess what, they were gone before 2 AM. Many more stories later, Henry(frmrly Hank) Brann

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