Microsoft's One Million Square Feet of Culture

During the first weekend of the Sundance Film Festival, La Blogothéque and Ken Miller joined forces with Microsoft to host their art-centric event series known as 1MSQFT . The event took place in a small gallery space on Main Street in Park City, Utah, the heart of Sundance. The Milk Made team waited in what felt like the longest line in the known universe, due to the bitter mountain cold we were forced to stand in as we waited to get inside. Inside, we were immediately greeted with rattlesnake sausages in strawberry jam and glasses of wine… just like mom used to make.

The intimate space was decorated in the most celebratory of fashions. Gold and brightly shimmering tassels hung from the ceiling, making us feel like we were attending a child’s birthday party or quinceañera. Piñatas dangled from the ceiling in anticipation of the party’s finale. All around the tightly packed room, there were whispers of the name Mac DeMarco, someone we aren’t ashamed to say we had not heard of until that point. We snagged a few more glasses of wine as we bobbed and weaved our way through the crowded space toward the back. We were greeted into a second room by a hypnotically beautiful portrait of Miranda July. In the photo, Miranda is enveloped by a haze of purple and blue. This colorful cloud is Miranda’s aura, and is part of a series of photos taken by photographer Carlo Van de Roer with a special Polaroid aura camera.

After studying the scene for a while, we carved out a spot for ourselves against the back wall and listened to the opening band. A few glasses of wine and a long bathroom line later, we were starting to ask questions about who Mac DeMarco was and when he would be performing.

Just as it seemed as though this invisible Gatsby of the guitar would never be revealed to us, a sweetly drunken young man stumbled next to us to ask a stranger for a cigarette. The stranger, who was dressed in paint splattered overalls and a white trucker hat, handed the young man a cigarette and walked away. The young man looked flushed. He turned to us with a look of shock and said, "I cannot believe I just bummed a cigarette from Mac DeMarco!" The expression on his face would make you think he had just asked Justin Bieber or Jesus Christ to go to prom with him. Apparently he’s a big deal. Apparently we are out of the loop.

We were immediately brought into the loop when DeMarco took the small wooden soap box of a stage and begin strumming his guitar. His music felt like drifting down a river inside a row boat. It’s a bit Elliott Smith, a bit T-Rex a bit something intangible. The crowd circled around him like a school of fish as he slowed the weird world of Sundance down, making us all feel like we were at a house party and not a sponsored event in a tiny gallery in Utah.

The night may or made not have ended with the smashing of a piñata, we wouldn’t know though because we were already back outside battling the frigid cold on the way to our next movie premiere.

Photos By: Michael Ori

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