LACE Rave: ‘Love and Irreverence’


The Scene: Circa 92, a massive rave/fund-raiser for Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions held at the Shrine Exposition Hall. It began Saturday night, peaked around 3 a.m. and ended near dawn.

Who Was There: Organizers Tef Foo and Richard Duardo, reformed X-rated film actress Traci Lords, plus 5,000 party-goers. The average age was between 16 and 23. This is the post-Reagan generation, out with a vengeance.

The Ambience: What Duardo describes as “the home entertainment center of the future.” A 100,000-watt sound system with towering banks of speakers surrounded the 200-by-100-foot dance floor. Every molecule in the building vibrated. Overhead, dozens of green laser beams formed a web-like ceiling; three 12-by-12-foot screens reflected art images and a light show; six LED “Silent Radio” displays played messages from artists and writers and a wall of 16 televisions aired fractal imagery.


Observation: A woman in her mid-30s said, “I look at this and I think subtlety has really lost its power.”

Dress Mode: A broad sampling of the fashion spectrum. An average outfit might include Bermuda shorts, an olive-green suit coat worn over a Clobber T-shirt plus black socks and suede loafers. The most extreme garb: rubberized vinyl bicycle shorts with matching shirts worn by two British tourists.

Quoted: “What we’ve eliminated is the distinction between the art-smart crowd, the underground street kids and the disenfranchised cyber-computer nerds,” said Duardo. “This is all about love and irreverence.”

Money Matters: Circa 92 cost $75,000 to put on; tickets were $20 in advance, $25 at the door; LACE received about $12,000.

Chow: The standard Shrine concessionaire fare of alleged food substances.

Key Word: Digital Shaman, referring to the DJs who spin the techno/house music. “A booming bass for a loving race,” was the event’s slogan.

Overheard: “Chaos, dude,” said one teen-ager describing the scene to another.