The Panoply Performance Laboratory (abbreviated “PPL” henceforth) is in residence at SURREAL ESTATE, Brooklyn’s largest live/work arts and activism collective, and the only collective house/venue/artist space that reflects the diversity of the community. Or so goes the first draft of the mission statement everyone has been working on for months, and it is true. PPL’s co-AD lives at Surreal Estate on the 3rd floor and so is in favor of promoting the collective and its gloriously graffiti-ed spaces as much as possible…it really is one of the best DIY spaces in the city. We would link you to their website but there isn’t one. The myspace and facebook pages are also really outdated. That’s ok! Tribal freeganism has different priorities.
PPL has been rehearsing in the garage at Surreal Estate, which until recently was home to power tools, lumber, etc. Now, for the massive blowout parties that Surreal Estate holds (the collective is sustained by these) the garage has become the bar (with a counter dumpstered from Ad Hoc as they moved their Bogart Ave space…) so there are often pools of beer on the uneven concrete floor, empty plastic cups strewn about, and that sour but vaguely thrilling odor of sweat, vomit, alcohol, marijuana, and art that defines rapidly-gentrifying East Williamsburg.
The best thing about working in the garage at Surreal Estate is that the garage door can be opened, which makes rehearsals sunny, breezy, and public. The two kids that live next door (somehow related to those who run the motorcycle shop?) are obsessed with us and stand on the threshold of the garage listening to lines like “The tendency to narratavize is the same as the will to power” and “I have never met a woman I can respect.” We can also see crust kids, punks, hipsters, and everyone skate boarding together in perfect harmony, eating falafel, etc. Sometimes people stop and have a lot of questions about what we’re doing.
The only interruptions that haven’t been super productive are by Nico, who thinks we are part of a CIA conspiracy and pours his coffee out on the ground in protest of us and sometimes shouts at us, but then, we can always just close the garage door.
The worst thing that has happened so far is that someone came over from a party at Cy-Ops studios and poured glue all over the piano. Now composer/music director Brian has to drag a keyboard all the way from Harlem for every rehearsal. What kind of a sick person would ruin a piano?