The Institute for New Feeling, a three-artist collective known for creating and “marketing” fake products that boast regenerative powers, from fragrances to concrete neck pillows, has joined forces with the Black Cube Nomadic Museum to do the same with enhanced water. The end product is a bottled water called Avalanche, manufactured complete with its own vending machines, which they’ll market, taking an absurdist approach, as a recycled beverage made fresh again by human usage.
The Avalanche project, also mounted in conjunction with the University of Denver’s Vicki Myhren Gallery and the Biennial of the Americas, will begin on Saturday, September 9, with an elaborate pop-up mock-filtration performance at, of all places, the Denver Wastewater Management facility, located along the banks of the not-so-clean Platte River. As Black Cube’s Cortney Stell explains, it’s a tongue-in-cheek response to the way branding whitewashes the truth about marketable products.
Part performance and part happening, Avalanche, which will be documented by camera-wielding drones during the event, will also include sonic performances and music, and guests will be able to test fresh bottles of Avalanche water at the event. Afterward, Black Cube moves, lock, stock and barrel, to the Myhren Gallery for a product launch and video documentation of the performance on September 14.
For Stell, it’s a big step for Black Cube, which is up to its neck in new projects. She’s looking forward to collaborations with two artist fellows — El Paso artist Adriana Corral, who’s creating a human-rights installation at a historic site along the Mexican border, and Lauren Halsey, who’s building a sculptural float for next year’s MLK parade in Los Angeles — as well as evolving iterations in Denver of Drive-In, a series of pop-up group exhibits of car-related art that kicked off in August.
“It’s such a wild thing, this Black Cube,” Stell continues. “I’m limited only by my abilities and my vision and the people I work with to realize this amazing and super-frightening thing.” How lucky we are to be invited to come along for the ride.
Black Cube’s Avalanche performance with the Institute for New Feeling begins with a reception at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, September 9, followed by the installation viewing at 8:30 p.m., at the Denver Wastewater Management facility, 2000 West Third Avenue. Admission is free. The formal Avalanche exhibit opens with a product launch 5 to 8 p.m. at the Vicki Myhren Gallery, 2121 East Asbury Avenue on the DU campus, and runs through October 1. Learn more about the project and other Black Cube happenings online.