bringing dark mofo’s blacklist party home

As we all grieve the end of best party of the year, take some comfort in the words of Blacklist curator Hannah Fox, and recreate the magic at home.

by i-D Staff
23 June 2015, 4:38am

All photos by MONA/Alex White

So the fever dream that is Dark Mofo is done for another year. And we've all left behind the terrifying delights of MONA to return to our lives where bamboozling sensory treats don't lurk behind every corner and the tap water doesn't taste like clean, delicious dirt.

If you can't tell, the team at i-D is feeling your post party blues. And we share your longing for stranger times as you sit at your keyboard wondering if counting rice at home would be as relaxing as it is when Marina Abramovic makes you do it.

To ease you through this comedown Hannah Fox, one of the great minds behind the week's biggest party Blacklist, shared her secrets with i-D. With her help, some low lighting, and a banging soundtrack you can keep the party going all year long.

Before we get into it, I have to ask, for Blacklist you guys took a lot of inspiration from ASMR (Autonomous sensory meridian response), how did you pull such delicate sounds into such a wild party?
We worked with a Video Artist, Keith Deverell and Sound Artist, Byron Scullin to create these stylised, high quality recordings that were integrated with performance in the room with a group of dancers led by Art Director Gabi Barton. It's the way we opened and closed each night, with these high volume textural sort of invasive sounds and large scale projections while people in bathrobes wandered the space, whispering in people's ears and running wings made of hair over faces... y'know, casual stuff like that.

Where did the interest in that sensation come from?
Gabi Barton is someone we have been collaborating with for a while and she approached us with the idea of using ASMR as a jumping off point for performance and it grew from there. We are both fascinated with it and it just seemed to be one of those things in the zeitgeist that was coming up in conversation all over the place. If you spend enough time in the internet vortex that is the ASMR community, it's likely you will become as obsessed with it as we have, "tinglehead" or not.

Blacklist wasn't a regular party, what set it apart?
Probably the large group of people involved who are all seriously passionate about not taking it too seriously and approach the whole thing with total willingness to take a risk and let it become it's own community of beautiful weirdos.

What's the best way to prepare for a Blacklist-or any other-party?
Espresso martinis because you're in for a long night and dressing in a strong look because if you creatively invest in going out, you will likely have a better time.

Your code of conduct is pretty famous, can you take us through it?
1. Dress appropriately for the end. You are going out like that. Self explanatory.

2. If abducted during the course of the night, the safe word is bananas. This is here so we don't get sued.

3. Be a wild and free gay horse like Harrison Forward on a bunk bed. A slight in-joke but one of the band members of local band Harrison Forward has a tattoo on his leg that says something like "I am wild and gay free horse and society will not repress me" and that band played one of our parties a few years ago in a tiny room on bunk beds and broke them all. They are loose units.

4. Acknowledge the power of magic. Hardcore cynics might have a tough time at Blacklist.

5. Do not kill non-human animals. Do not harm little children. Be respectful to small adults. Hobartians are crazy people, and I mean that affectionately, but all of these requests are necessary rules in this context. We do have animals, small adults, and children involved!

6. Listen closely, go hard, open your mouth, close your eyes, sacrifice for the greater mood. Come with us, basically.

What was the Blacklist anthem?
Joy Division, "Digital".

If you could party with anyone in history, alive or dead, who would it be?
Marchesa Casati, the Italian heiress/living work of art.

If one designer could outfit the entire party who would that be?
Gareth Pugh.

Signature party scent?
The body odor of Princess Di.

What should you always leave?
Glow sticks, feather boas, annoying friends.

As the masters of a party, what's the most important tip for someone trying to recreate the mystery at home?
Don't forget to enjoy it, nobody likes a stressy host.

Your favourite party dress code?
Funeral/ WILF (widow).

What time should things ideally start?
It gets dark early here so we start early, things are pretty "on" by 10.

Perfect number of attendees?

Full moon or no moon?
Full moons are always the most nuts nights but I love it.

Are the best nights with friends or total strangers?
The best nights are with friends amongst total strangers. Being here is like being on art school camp with the whole of Fitzroy.