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Data Party - ABRI Lefebvre, Janvier 2014
le G.O
Capitaine Caverne
Data Centre - Temporary Digital Art Gallery

I caught wind of a Data Party in the ABRI Lefebvre. Now I know a lot of you got to see this place before it was bought up, but I never had the chance unfortunately, and I've only seen it from the other side of the gigantic metal door, so I was pretty excited to hear of this party inside the bunker. Although not really sure what to expect either.

A few friends and I all trucked down to the Data Centre for the Temporary Digital Art Gallery hosted in ABRI Lefbvre. It was an awesome night filled with awesome awesomeness. Upon arriving at 21h30 at the decrepit looking building near the border of Paris, the que was around the corner. I felt like we were in that scene in Requiem for a Dream where all of the pushers are vying for a piece of that action. Occasionally people came past and told us that the line was too long and there was no way were were going to get inside. A few people dropped off, some friends fearing the cold and heeding some other calls departed, many others attempted the crowds, but left unfulfilled. Knowing that an event like this is not happening often, I persisted, comforted by the fact that with so many bodies pressed up against each other, it was more like a colony of penguins, huddling together for warmth rather than a que. Each time the door flung open to let people out, there was a serge towards the door and you literally got swept off your feet. After an hour I almost though I should depart too, but as a few more people departed (both from the que and form the party) my hopes rose and they eventually started admitting more people. By about 23h30 we were through the doors.

We entered the building and headed down the industrial multi directional zig zag stairs to a landing at the cata level where we passed through large anti-atomic doors. The ABRI was laid out in an L shape, with a few oddities at a few points, the start and the end were a little more open, and the corner of the L was a kind of passage room. Otherwise there was a main corridor that ran the length of the ABRI with cubbyholes branching off from each side. Each cubby hole was filled with different conceptual art, some interactive, some visual, some physical. There were animations running, a motion sensor that turned you into a kind of Matrix looking videoscape. Light sensors and a projection where you were encourage to play with the lightsaber and candles. There was an old printer on connected sheets of paper that occasionally spurted out lines of text and a room filled with televisions all tuned to static. A red triangle projected onto the wall and floor in one room seamed like a lame attempt on first viewing, but towards the end of the night became one of my favourites. It's ability to captivate and mesmerise the viewer was uncanny. The entire ABRI was wired with electricity giving lighting in key parts, and projection goodness in other parts and wild thumping bace at the back.

The corner of the L is where they had set up the bar, with beer on tap, and club mate and vodka, all at reasonable prices (especially for Paris). At the far end was a DJ set playing at times very conceptual stuff, but turning into more dance music by the end of the night. There were the old bikes for generating electricity in one room and a spandex room, which we dubbed the orgy room - a music room where to enter you had to pass a mini labyrinth of floor to ceiling spandex where people grabbed and touched the people on the other side. At times it became quite an anonymous touchy feely kind of place. I tried to find the entrance to the catas but failed, there were two holes leading into the ground, one near the L and another inside the toilets (not for use BTW… but there were flushing toilets at the surface inside the principal building). I didn't have a torch so I didn't dare descend into them. There was also a chatiere leading from one room, but it had been securely cemented. The ABRI is very well locked down from the rest of the catas.

I am surprised we didn't see more people we know, but there were some faces who nodded then I heard whispers of something something english something from faces that felt familiar. I met a girl I knew from a social club, completely non-urbex related which was kinda a little random, and also some people I've chatted with before underground who I forget the names off (sorry).

The scheduled closing time of 1am was uniformly ignored, although people weren't admitted after 1, we didn't leave until somewhere about 5am in the morning. Throughly enjoyed the night, it was spectacular and such a perfect mix of art, interestingness, music and cool people in a sublime setting. I truly didn't want the night to end. It was perhaps a night rivalled only by Goonie Fest in terms of organisation and awesomeness, but Goonie fest, whilst being less arts based, and more thrash metal based (I am glad there was more oxygen here) still wins as it was in the catacombs proper, with cata entrances, not just a door and stairwell decent. Still... fucking amazing. I know stuff like this happens in Berlin with much more frequency and complexity, but regardless, it has regained my faith that Paris is one of the coolest cities on the planet.

Official Site : http://www.expodatacenter.fr/datacenter/accueil.html
My bad iPhone videos of the night :

One of the pieces being projected :

La Cigale
--Y'a des cigales dans la fourmilière, et vous n'pouvez rien y faire--
I know it, I should stay longer (and not just one hour...)

But, after 19:30, I was thinking of others in cold and feeling bad about it.
Like in TourParis13, this expo is too short Smile

Thx for the description of your night!
Very nice story of a very fine night, glad you enjoyed it !

I had the same feeling about the red shape, Olivier Ratsi's piece. At first it seemed rather lame, but the strange thing managed to stood by itself in the middle of the room kind of out of nowhere. Very simple but very clever, mesmerizing as you said.

And what did you think of the thunder room which seemed to be most people's favorite ? Smile
Mini-administrator - F2R TLAV TMTS MDR DTC

"Mon travail c'est qu'il y a un max de pub autour de ckzone." - Moi
Did you have a part to play in that? I loved the fact that when people were there they would just start screaming at it. Huge loud guttural screams.
--Y'a des cigales dans la fourmilière, et vous n'pouvez rien y faire--

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