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This past weekend we were invited to an insane dance party hosted by art collective Thunder Gumbo. The event, entitled “Freezing Man,” was a musical homage to the infamous Burning Man music festival in Black Rock, Nevada, doubling as a coat drive: “It’s fun to play in the snow at big parties, but some homeless New Yorkers are at their most vulnerable this time of year.” Held at The Paper Box in Brooklyn, the quirky venue was the perfect host for funking in front of an ice effigy, only to knock it down ceremonially at the end of the night.

Thunder Gumbo is a Brooklyn based group founded in 2009 that is attempting to bridge the gap between different cultural scenes found in Brooklyn. The name comes from Gumbo, a New Orleans soup that is made up of various ingredients. They have had many successful surrealist events in the past few years including The Santas of BabylonKiss of The TigerDr. Moreau’s Holiday IslandThe Iceman Cometh all Over, & The White House of Pain. Each event brought together installation artists, DJ’s, performances artists, live musicians, and a whole host of other creatives to bring about multisensory experiences for thousands of guests at underground artist lofts or repurposed spaces.

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For their ultimate project they repurpose an abandoned US Army vehicle, outfitting it as a huge performance art piece, and bring it to Burning Man. It becomes a multi-platform abstract art piece that evokes a dialog about the relationship between the evolution of civilization and the passage of time. The project questions the hypothetical finding of a lost US Army truck from our generation, several thousands of years into the future by a nomadic tribe. Check out photos from their successful visit to 2013 Burning Man.

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The venue for this event was quite fitting for this quirky mix of genres, one room playing electronic music while jazz/rock bled in from the adjacent door. In the back, a DJ mixed for dancers in front of a projector casting their shadow on a wall of ice (er, paper boxes) which came tumbling down when the night was done. Other quirky (but notable) additions to the night included attractions like a kissing booth, blacklight face-painting, and a human carpet!

Here are some more pictures from Saturday’s event:

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thunder gumbo-freezing man-the paper box-brooklyn-daily what-nyc-untapped cities-084And in the back room of The Paper Box, there’s some awesome graffiti! You might recall “Fear City” from this 1970s anti-tourist pamphlet.

Stay tuned for more quirky findings from around the city by following our Daily What?! column. Visit the Thunder Gumbo site for their latest events! Get in touch with the author @uptownvoice.

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