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If you’re curious about apocalyptic prophecies, are at all haunted by the possibility of their validity, or in the potential to survive beyond their threats of extinction, join us on December 21 for a night of both satirical and sombre reflections on humanity’s strange and destructive time on planet Earth. If it is our collective “last night,” Pleasure Dome will put you into the right frame of mind. We’ll begin in the sphere of YouTube, with unabridged comments floating without their related videos, a sea of worry, speculations and doubt around this day, the conclusion of the Mayan calendar (People This 2012 Shit is Hype, Mél Hogan). Our journey proceeds into psychedelic rituals, ancient prophecies and artefacts of humanity’s unsuccessful spiritual reconciliation with nature (Sun Moon Stars Rain, Leslie Supnet). Then, a portal transports us to Southern California, as we are guided by the words of Jack Parsons into the feared Devil’s Gate (Laura Kraning). As a reminder of the contained apocalypses that have already occurred, we’ll visit the overgrown site of the Jonestown mass suicides and hear recollections peppered with omissions (Pieces of Jonestown, Aaron Oldenburg). We continue on to an abandoned subdivision evoking a post-apocalyptic landscape as a band of survivors move through a foreclosed wasteland of track homes and desolate streets, as if subprime mortgages themselves had caused some kind of mass epidemic (Black Moon, Amie Siegel).
After a short break, we will present a rare screening of Bruce Connor’s Crossroads. Mesmerised by the rippling devastation of the Bikini Atoll atomic bomb tests, known as “Operation Crossroads,” Conner constructs an exhaustive assemblage of military documentation of the event, and its terrifying beauty. The lights will come on, we’ll go home. What of tomorrow? As one YouTube comment reads, “I don’t know we just have to see what happens.”