By Katelyn Faye Winters
Some of us may feel we are not artistically inclined, and many more of us may feel the same towards the overwhelming amount of technology available to us in the digital age. While it’s easy to think some things are best left to the professionals, a new art collective recently opened at 97D Webster Street in Worcester would say otherwise. Formed under the premise that everyone is capable of creating their own art and mastering their own technology, the long-awaited Strange Attractor has opened for business.
The space is home to Ferromorphics Blacksmithing, stone and wood-working shop Stonehawk Design, and the DIY computer/electronics workshop and hackerspace, T.E.S.L.A (Technological Enthusiasts Society for Life Applications). The collective’s first open house on May 1 featured blacksmithing demos, food and music in Stonehawk’s studio, and a project building “LED throwies” for street signs in the T.E.S.L.A studio. Guests who mingled on the patio enjoyed grilling by guest business Dr. Gonzo’s Uncommon Condiments and music was featured in the BoHo Room, which in the future will be used for lower-key productions, including poetry on Thursday nights.
While all the studios were up and running, the space’s main attraction isn’t slated to open until this summer. Referred to simply as the Big Room, the former factory space attached to the T.E.S.L.A studio comes complete with a stage and track ceiling crane the collective hopes to use to move a free-floating stage through the space. The occupants of the Strange Attractor are pushing to have the space completely finished by July, when it will be used for concerts, lightshows, and film productions.
Attendees to the Strange Attractor’s “Mayday Heyday” were given a tour of the as-yet-unrenovated Big Room and were impressed with its potential and sheer size, but the occupants of the collective are excited about their space for a very different reason. While they all look forward to the fast-approaching day when they’ll have their own concert hall, the greatest aspect of the space is what and who has gone into making it. Ferromorphics will be handling all the welding involved in the deisgn, Stonehawk will be renovating the space and helping to construct the stage, and T.E.S.L.A will run all the electronics needed for sound, lights, and other media once the space is complete. Not only will the Strange Attractor have its most alluring and versatile attraction realized, but the work will be done almost exclusively by the occupants of the co-op, giving a whole new meaning to “buying local.”
The Strange Attractor opens the first Sunday of every month, and anyone interested in the space is encouraged to contact one of the occupants or seek them out at an open house. T.E.S.L.A features weekly workshops, open and closed labs, and different levels of membership for access to hackerspace. They can be found at www.teslaract.org and on Facebook. Ferromorphics Blacksmithing can be found at www.ferromorphics.com
Pictured: members of Hackerspace, photo courtesy of Jonathan Wolf.
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