Artists provide diversions at festival dedicated to Phish
Musically, this festival is all about one band. But fans who've traveled from all 50 states to hear Phish are also seeing a wide range of art on display inside the concert grounds.
The festival's artistic centerpiece is a forested area called Sunk City, where works are exhibited in and around the set of a city skyline that appears to be sinking into the ground. Here's a brief look at a few of the artists at the festival:
An 83-minute film played on the eight-foot ceiling of a small, muddy room built into the main set of Sunk City.
The movie, which has no plot and no dialogue, was shot underwater in Vermont's Lake Champlain. The nine actors - some wearing flowing gowns, others in jackets and ties - simply swam.
Sometimes the camera filmed nothing but the murky green water. And many festivalgoers wandered in, saw an indecipherable screen and walked back out.
Craig Carlson, who made the film, lamented the short attention spans of some visitors, but he enjoyed discussing it with others.
"I love just the randomness of it," he said. "What you get can be really beautiful."
Danny O is a collage artist who years ago started collecting balls - baseballs, tennis balls, and the like - as a way to get out of the studio.
The North Adams, Mass., artist now has 16,000 balls. He recently took them all out of storage and brought them to Limestone, and on Saturday he began stacking them on the ground to form a ball mosaic.
Within ten hours, a multi-colored rendering of Groucho Marx's face had taken shape on the ground. Sixteen feet above, festivalgoers snaked through the trees on a catwalk that overlooked various art installations.
The mosaic was constantly changing, and O said he would probably keep working on it after the fans were gone.
"When I can get the best aerial photo of it is probably when I'll end," he said.
A couple of lawnchair jugglers were one of the more popular roving acts during Saturday's show.
Known as the Airborne Comedians, Dan Foley and Joel Harris met in a laundromat during high school and have now been performing as a juggling team for 20 years.
"It's just been this friendly competition that's elevated into riding seven-foot unicycles and juggling lawnchairs," Foley joked.
Foley, who lives in Boston, once auditioned for David Letterman's "Stupid Human Tricks" but was not invited to perform on the air. Johnny Carson apparently liked jugglers more than Letterman, he explained.
The juggling duo performs regularly around New England, and this weekend was their fourth appearance at a Phish concert.
The crowd was entertained by their performance, but Foley and Harris promised to raise the stakes later by juggling flaming lawnchairs.
Copyright ©, 2003 Associated Press