Detroit’s Packard Plant has had a fascinating afterlife. The 3 million+ square foot complex was the “most advanced auto factory in the world” when it opened in 1903. And though the factory itself was shut down more than 60 years ago, the complex has never entirely gone silent. As of the late ’00s industries were still in business on the sprawling site while other structures were picked apart by scrappers and age and asbestos fibers drifted out through broken windows.
More famously, though, the ruined hulk of the Packard Plant hosted a number of raves and parties in the 1990s that entered into electronic music and especially Detroit electronic music folklore.
A new four day art exhibition opening next week pays homage to this incarnation of the Packard Plant — the “icon for those who experienced the ’90s rave scene and the many that followed in the wake of its influence.”
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The Packard is a pop-up art exhibition curated by Ashely Worden in collaboration with Light Bender (Gabriel Hall), and joined by Detroit record label Infolines, heralded by 5 Mag as one of the “most promising new labels in America in 2020.” Infolines’ debut release was named after the Packard Plant and the “most legendary of rave escapes” on Detroit’s eastside.
“The exhibition is a harkening back to days of black plastic, strobes, and crumbling ceilings,” states Ashely Worden, “when all you needed to escape the mundane was to pick up the phone and dial the info line”:
The exhibition opens on November 3 2021 and runs through November 6 at The Bankle (2948 Woodward Avenue), known as The Avant Garden Collective, and features contributions from The AG Collective artists Alex McDonnell and Brent Zittel and artists Ryan Doyle and Charles Boike. Open gallery hours will be Wednesday (11/03, 4PM – 8PM), Thursday (11/04, 4PM – 8PM), Friday (11/05, 4PM – 10PM), and Saturday (11/06, 12PM –6PM). The closing reception is Saturday night.
The show itself is free to attend, but donations are encouraged. More info at infolinesmusic.com.