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Scenes From Symbiosis Gathering 2013

Tour the Woodward Reservoir with these exclusive photos

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Tom Tomkinson

Last weekend, the Symbiosis arts and music gathering took place at a new location: Woodward Reservoir Park in Oakdale, California – about an hour-and-a half east of San Francisco. The objective remained the same. "A driving impulse behind Symbiosis is to create a space for music lovers interested in art, permaculture, organic foods, yoga, indigenous wisdom and workshops of all kinds," one of the event directors, Kevin KoChen, told Rolling Stone. "The genres on each stage change during the course of the day, so that people voyage around the entire experience while getting exposed to new music and ideas. . . Symbiosis is a gathering and our goal is to create community."

By BENJY EISEN

symbiosis

Tom Tomkinson

Tainted Love

Members of the Vau De Vire Society, Jacob and Leah, act out Edwardian Ball Roadshow fantasies as living statues, representing characters from author-illustrator Edward Gorey's The Evil Garden. 

symbiosis

Tom Tomkinson

All Done Up

Vau De Vire Society are veteran performers at Symbiosis, but fans may also recognize them from Burning Man or the Edwardian Ball Roadshow in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

symbiosis

Tom Tomkinson

Starport

A nighttime view of Carey Thompson’s Starport, which seemed to support a different spontaneous scene whenever you walked by it. Thompson first displayed this installation earlier this year at Lightning in a Bottle and his work has been commissioned by both Burning Man and Portugal’s Boom Festival.  

symbiosis

Tom Tomkinson

The Pantheon

The Pantheon was in a central location inside the venue, creating a gathering spot where lectures, spoken word, poetry readings and other demonstrations took place during the day. After dark, it transformed into a dance nightclub. Built by Adam Christoph, the Pantheon has appeared in various configurations at Symbiosis events since 2006, but the current incarnation was truly next-level.

symbiosis

Tom Tomkinson

Year of the Water Snake

Symbiosis 2013 billed itself as the “Year of the Water Snake,” with almost all of the stages surrounded on three sides by water — the Woodward Reservoir in Oakdale, California. While many chose to float lazily during the daytime, the waterfront was also a popular spot at sunset and again at sunrise. Various art installations, such as the structure seen here, provided premium seating to the best show in town: mother nature.

 

symbiosis

Tom Tomkinson

Constantly Evolving

Symbiosis is a constantly evolving art experiment that visually changes by the hour. Assisting and propelling that aspect at this year’s incarnation was a secondary stage called the Front Porch, which moved from spot to spot, pulled by a tractor. In the background is a giant psychedelic sailfish that you could walk inside of as it led you down into the water.

symbiosis

Tom Tomkinson

Ever-Changing Scene

A third and totally evolved use of Carey Thomspson’s Starport installation, seen here on the final night of Symbiosis 2013. The portal encouraged an ever-changing scene throughout the festival, ranging from children playing under its arch to parade route stops to the drum demo that appears to be going on here.

 

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