The downtown art space confusingly called .anti_space is one of our favorite destinations on First Fridays and the occasional Third Friday. The squat concrete structure, which encompasses a large portion of the city block it rests upon, is a carnival-like cluster of cool. Not only does it have a wacked-out, test-pattern-style rainbow color scheme (guaranteed to sear your eyes), there always seems to be some interesting or artistic action going down on the property. During one visit, Andrea Beasley-Brown (a.k.a. the Midnite Movie Mamacita) was screening trailers for schlocky '70s horror films on a bedsheet screen while the Arizona Derby Dames sold baked goods, and people attempted to walk a foot-high steel-cable tightrope.
On other months, we've seen residents ride modified bikes in unison in front of the joint, thrill at the high-flying antics of aerialist Matti Baine, or rock out to local bands performing on the sidewalk. Oh, yeah, and a half-dozen galleries and boutiques are housed within .anti_space's walls, including CB*AG, Waldoism, and Fabriculture.
There's a chance that .anti_space might close by the end of the year. Then again, it's very possible that the complex could remain open well into 2009 or beyond. What's the deal? Well, it seems as though the property owner has designs on razing the building and erecting condos or something similarly gaudy. But because of the sagging real estate market, such plans are on hold, and the folks behind .anti_space can remain.
Three cheers for the recession!