Bash Compactor: Ball of Steel


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In West Chelsea last Saturday night, art world luminaries who paid $1,500 for a late-night snack were having too much fun to notice the death throes of the gilded Aughties. The splendid last act of the go-go era—The Metal Ball sponsored by arts group Performa—took place underneath shiny inflated pillows spelling out Metal Ball; revelers wrapped in silver foil shimmied and shook lightly to an apocalyptic version of “I’ll Be Your Mirror” by chanteuse Dynasty Handbag.


Hacker artist extraordinaire Cory Arcangel—in a hooded black sweatshirt (“I’m Heavy metal, dude”)—was leaning lazily against one of the stages. “Ya got a minute for the press see?” he crowed at me in a Vaudevillian accent. How’s the work selling? “I don’t worry about that, man.” Arcangel’s ‘60s-styled pal Alex took over. “Whatever the press says about the art world, one should always tone it down a bit,” he said, polishing the lenses of his circular spectacles with a handkerchief. He added that the art scene was set to regress to precisely the year 1982.

Ascot-and-corduroy-wearing Andrew—of doppelganger performance art duo Andrew Andrew—said the scene was actually going to return to the ‘70s. He added, “But we never leave the house without at least an ascot, and we’re going to be regarded as the man, and we have to watch out.” His brother? Lover? Both? Andrew came over and told me a 9/11 knock-knock joke. The other Andrew dropped the punch line, “I thought you’d never forget!”
Top-hat-wearing Scissor Sister Anamatronic—who was DJing the event—dropped a track of heavily slowed down’80s electro and rummaged through a stack of 78s. I asked her if she was worried about the art-market crash. “I live in Bushwick, not fucking East Williamsburg, so no,” she joked. Then her gaze shifted towards a shapely brunette twirling covered with silver make-up. The indie icon threw up some scissor bumping hand signs and said with a laugh, “Yeah, lesbianism!” 

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