“Is This the End of the Underground?”

By Jessie Schiewe : sfweekly – excerpt

Bay Area cellist Zoe Keating takes to Facebook to laud warehouses as the impetus of her career and poses questions about what the Ghost Ship fire means for the future of underground, DIY spaces.

Though she now lives in the forest near Occidental in a decades old house made of redwoods, when Keating first moved to the Bay Area, she lived in a warehouse on Natoma Street in San Francisco.

“I wouldn’t be the artist I am today if not for living almost seven years in an “illegal” warehouse at 964 Natoma St in S.F.,” she wrote. “We hosted many cross-pollinating, genre-busting experimental events that could never have happened anywhere else. Not only was it inexpensive to live there, so I could focus on my art, but I was attracted to this alternative way of living where life, work and art were merged, meals were shared and social serendipity was built-in. The things I saw and heard and the people I met and talked to and the work I did as a result…it all made me the person I am today.”… (more)

The live-work art studios in the old warehouses did make the underground art scene a special place. the communal nature of mixing art and life and the 24 hour energy is not easy to replicate, but It can be done and will happen again, although maybe somewhere new. Someone must be building a new art scene somewhere.


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