Decompression 2019: Theme TBD
Decompression 2019 will be hosted at The Reserve on October 5th, 2019. Donate to B.U.R.N. and register for your FREE ticket here.
Decompression 2018: I, Human
Decompression 2018 will be hosted at The Reserve on October 6, 2018. Donate to B.U.R.N. and register for your FREE ticket here.
Decompression 2017: The Ouroboros
Decompression 2017 was hosted at The Reserve on September 23, 2017.
Decompression 2016: Mad Science
Decompression 2016 was hosted at Bottom Lounge (1375 W. Lake Street) on November 4, 2016
Decompression 2015: Labyrinth
Decompression 2015 returned to the City at El Rey Ballroom (3504 S. Western) on September 19, 2015.
Decompression 2014: Crossroads
Photos by Dan Thomson
After several years of fund-raving, the community zigged in a different direction– about an hour west, to be specific, for a brisk fall camping outing. Newcomers and old timers alike came together, and a good time was had by all.
Decompression 2013: Terra Firma
Terra Firma –latin, solid ground. The name for the location from which alien abductees aretaken and consistently returned.
“I was leaving behindforever all semblance of a normal life, running headlong toward an experienceso overwhelmingly mind-rending in it's effects …that my life would never-couldnever-be the same again." – Travis Walton on his 1975 abduction by aliens
Strange memorieson this October night in Chicago. Seven weeks later? Eight? That week is liftedfrom my current state of understanding. Missing Time – lost in the dust.
It seems like just yesterday we werewandering that otherworldly terrain; a survivalist trip on what was said to bea lifeless expanse. Instead, what we found appeared to be very much alive, andthriving. From miles away, it appeared. A tent city- riddled with small humanoid creatures darting about on fuzzy mechanicals:small fur-lined cycles and larger, neon rovers resembling every sort of beastand craft imaginable. Geodesic domes and other bizarrely shaped structures weredelegated into a massive hoof print, and at its center, that iconic disc andabove it, a man.
“I got thefeeling they were a type of human and that I was strangely a part of theirworld. They wore the most unusual but beautiful garb and many had long hair. Weare all in this huge dome and the atmosphere, and the music, in thisplace was absolutely beautiful. It was golden light and thebackground was white, like it was whitewashed and it was a placeof meditating on peace and love.”
- SashaHirsh, describing his experience during his 1981 alien abduction
Yet, no mass ofdazzling lights and glittering constructions could ever touch the divine powerin each of these strangers. Their great spectrum of unbridled expression andthis magic power they had to reach in and awaken every soul. A connectedness that was more thangenetic, but energetic – building, bursting towards the great ritual - free-wheeling the edge of chaos until iterupts into flame.
And the power ofthese gathered souls … maybe that was supposed to be the message – this cosmicritual had brought upon us a celestial one-ness that would bring to us peaceand understanding. And John Frum. NO- With a resounding crack, the structurecollapsed and with it, every evasive, romantic notion that THIS WAS IT screamedits last on the massive pyre. That night these creatures put to death theembodiment of the escapist delight to ascend this earthly home we have sobrutally tarnished and to be cared for by some greater Other. The truth IS out there, in inconceivablevastness as it is in each of our Pure Light Beings. We are already on ship. This is Home. And it IS burning…
Having passed through the smoke, westill yearn for renewal – to harness the entropic ecstasy of the event throughits release. A clean burn leaves no trace, and certainly rolling in the muck is a shit way ofgetting clean. Amongstthese monoliths, so far from the clarity of that great energetic wave, weappear adrift – helplessly pouring vinegar into the laundry, babblingincomprehensible tales of robot hearts and disco ducks.
So back, on our Terra Firma, we gather in a loft on the South Sideof Chicago to celebrate that glimpse we shared in the fire that night and toraise a glass for our own progress further into the uncharted abyss. Just before dawn, take a glance to the West- with the right kind of eyes you can seebeyond: that great expanse and the mysterious lights in the desertsky.
TERRA FIRMA: CHICAGO’S DECOMPRESSION 2013
Lacuna Artist Lofts
2150 S. Canalport Avenue.
Saturday, October 19th
3:00 P.M. – 3:00 A.M.