Night Light: Multimedia Garden Party

Advance tickets are HIGHLY recommended–– click here for tickets. As of 3pm this afternoon, there are still about 50 tickets available online until ticket sales stop at 7:30pm tonight! Advance tickets guarantee your entry into the event, no matter what time you arrive.

Doors open to ticket holders at 8:30pm.

If capacity permits, we will release a limited number of tickets at the door each hour until the end of the event for cash purchasers–– no one will be turned away for lack of funds. We may need to turn people away during times when the building is at capacity.

If you don’t get a ticket online, the later you come, the better your chance of getting in as crowds tend to thin as it gets late & there’s more space for others to join.

SOMArts is wheelchair accessible, but not scent free. There will be MANY flickering lights tonight. Bike parking is available. Our restrooms are multi-stall and all-gender. There is a cash bar & pupusa vendor on site. Directions are here.


One night only, Saturday, July 18, Night Light: Multimedia Garden Party blankets SOMArts Cultural Center in luminous art installations, including audiovisual performances and performative interventions by 30 artists, and digital and cinematic projections by 27 artists.

This year Night Light evolves in a new direction: as an homage to the Bay Area’s rabble-rousers, trouble-makers, independents and outliers, in conjunction with Making a Scene: 50 Years of Alternative Bay Area Spaces (July 9–August 20). Making a Scene features more than 30 additional artists whose work can be seen during Night Light. That’s the work of almost 90 Bay Area artists, in just one night!

Agglab, courtesy of the artist AAU B.Architecture Studio

Now in its fifth year, Night Light utilizes SOMArts’ post-industrial indoor space and grounds, including the garden path, street-side loading bay, theater, Bay Gallery and Main Gallery to display a multitude of applications of light in art.

This year Night Light centers a series of robust, sometimes overlapping performances and site-specific art installations that activate SOMArts post-industrial space with the spirit of activism, embodying the idea of “making a scene” in opposition to the status quo and uniting communities in pursuit of social justice.

Check out these tweet-sized descriptions of the evening’s performances to learn a little more about what you might see!

Tickets are $12 in advance & $15 at the door; advance tickets guarantee entry on the night of the event:

Image courtesy of the artist Sunru


Rashad aka Soul Nubian leads “The Urban Masquerade Parade”.  This ancient tradition of the Masquerade is found in many parts of the world as masked performance and spectacle. The parade will consist of dancers, live drum instrumentation and a DJ. This performative ritual will awaken the legacy of forgotten Bay Area performers, including Sylvester, Ed Mock, Marlon Riggs and other trailblazing artists.

In a durational performance, Alice Cunt embodies the role of a sex worker discovering the power of her body through dance, gesture and movement while flipping through channels of the prerecorded past and live feeds of the present. Perspectives of struggle and survival, the power of sex and the threat of violence, particularly violence against sex workers, women, trans people and queers, will be illuminated.

Image courtesy of Diosa

Tooth, filmmaker, and Sophia Wang, movement artist and writer, collaborate on a performance/installation, circling around the works of Theresa Hak Kyung Cha and the material and immaterial residue of language. Fragments and concepts from Cha’s experiments with text, performance, and film serve both as source material and point of departure for a movement/expanded cinema piece made with the techniques of “cinema povera,” which include using discarded industrial film stripped of the original images and printed over with a direct animation method using xerox copy machines. The result is a new image with elements of both immediacy and impermanence.

Frida Ibarra offers “Our Home is On Fire,” a song performed live that features her vocals, synth and other electronic sounds. Inspired by the recent apartment fires in the Mission District of San Francisco, which rendered many families and individuals of color homeless, this performance expresses the oppression shared throughout multiple communities and identities in the Bay Area.

Pr3ssPlay Poets [sic], an all-female poetry, spoken word and theatrical performance collective and production organization, performs “The State of Black Bodies,” directed by Mona Webb, as an exploration of issues regarding the current state of Blackness in America, and traces the shifting nature of Blackness throughout history. In addition, it explores the intersections of the “Black body” as a target, and as triumph, the conditioning of Black male, female, and queer bodies in service of white supremacy, and the collective desire to be freed from its talons.

Animation Stills from Scenarios of Breaking Down a Wall courtesy of Zeina Barakeh

Karen Seneferu exhibits “Black Lives Matter: From Fruitvale to Ferguson,” video documentation in tribute to Oscar Grant, Treyvon Martin, Andy Lopez, Alejandro Nieto, Renisha McBride, Akai Gurley, Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Tamar Rice, and hundreds of people of color who have been killed by police officers, security guards, and vigilantes. Seneferu said, “The video challenges the idea of gazing out and into the eyes of others who refuse to recognize the genocide occurring in these communities by the judicial system.”

Black Salt Collective projects an animation made by the collective alongside with abstract footage of sunsets, landscapes, and textures taken from their experimental narrative film titled, “The Initiation.” The Collective will also showcase a collaborative, self-standing painted and collaged sculpture made of plaster, wood, and fabric. With the idea of performance and ritual in mind, the installation will serve as a living, breathing archive, and a preview of what audiences will see in their SOMArts Commons Curatorial Residency exhibition, Visions into Infinite Archives, on view at SOMArts in January 2016.

Night Light veteran Andy Puls offers an immersive sound and video installation piece inside a tent that provides an immersive experience of live-synchronized, responsive light and sound. When the viewer enters the tent, video and music is generated in a live feedback loop.

Image courtesy of the artist NIGHTSHADE

Night Light Exhibiting Artists:
AAU B.Architecture Studio
Alex Cruse
Auden Lincoln-Vogel
Black Salt Collective
Brittney Kathee-Adams
Eli Coplan
Elia Vargas
Flower Pattern
Greer McGettrick
Jeremiah Barber
Justin Clifford Rhody
Karen Seneferu
Kulture Freedom
Malidoma Collective
Malik Seneferu
MJ Bernier
Paul Clipson
Sarah Rosalena Brady
Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
The Living Room Project
Will Erokan
Yetunde Olagbaju
Zeina Barakeh

Night Light Performing Artists:
Alice Cunt
Andy Puls
Annie Sprinkle
Anthony Julius Williams
Arnetta Smith
Beth Stephens
Big Gay Warehouse
Black Magic Arts Collective
Chelsea (Che) Elisabeth
Craig Baldwin
Embodiment Project
Ibn B.
Kevin Seaman
Kolmel W Love
Lisa Ganser
New Circus
Nomy Lamm
Pale Breast
Pr3ssPlay Poets
Quiet Lightning
Russell Butler
Sharmi Basu
Sophia Wang
Stephanie Lister
The Urban Masquerade Parade
Wreath of Flowers
YGB Sheroes

SOMArts’ exhibition programs are generously supported by the San Francisco Arts Commission and The San Francisco Foundation, and are sponsored in part by a grant from Grants for the Arts. Making a Scene is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.


Community Partners include FramelineSan Francisco CinemathequeSan Francisco Film Society and Z SPACE.


humm logo lasso

Special thanks to Ninkasi Brewing and Humm Kombucha, whose generous donations help SOMArts in fostering creative risk-taking, promoting cultural connectivity and learning, and instigating accessible, multifaceted participation in the arts.

Pictured: “I Gave Myself Space to Come Back” (2014), cropped, courtesy Yetunde Olagbaju; Agglab, courtesy of the artist AAU B.Architecture Studio; Image courtesy of the artist Sunru, pictured; Image courtesy of Diosa; Animation Still from Scenarios of Breaking Down a Wall courtesy of Zeina Barakeh; Image courtesy of the artist NIGHTSHADE