Factory Obscura, the art collective responsible for multiple temporary, immersive art experiences across Oklahoma City, has opened Phase 2 of its Mix-Tape experience, which features a 6,000-square-foot, hand-crafted, immersive art experience at its first permanent location on 9th Street in Automobile Alley.

Since opening Phase 1 in March of this year – which included an oversized, interactive boombox and eclectic, art-inspired gift shop – more than 30 Factory Obscura artists have been at work hand-crafting a full-sensory experience based on the classic American art form that is the mixtape.

“The experience unfolds through multiple spaces designed around the emotions that the songs on a mixtape would elicit,” says Kelsey Karper, Factory Obscura co-founder and director of logistical creativity. “So as you step into each environment you’ll experience one-by-one the feelings of joy, angst, love, melancholy, hope, and wonder.”

Karper explains that the emotions are derived from music that has inspired the artists themselves, and who together have built an experience that tells an authentic story about their journeys as individuals and as a collective.

“Every artist brought one song to the table that has touched us deeply somewhere along the way,” says Factory Obscura member artist Erin Latham. “Over multiple brainstorming sessions we talked about the music, what it meant to us, and how it made us feel. The Mix-Tape experience is an expression of all those feelings.”

Meow Wolf Collaboration

Factory Obscura is excited to announce a first-of-its-kind collaboration with Meow Wolf, their friend and colleague in the immersive arts. The creative force of this momentous collaboration has created a new opening through time and space, linking Factory Obscura’s Mix-Tape in OKC to Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return in Santa Fe, allowing participants at both locations a way to communicate and collaborate in realtime.

“Collaboration and community-building is central to our mission,” says Tammy Greenman, Factory Obscura co-founder and director of strategic creativity, “so a collaborative creation with participants in another immersive experience more than 500 miles away doesn’t feel like a crazy thing to us at all. It feels exactly like the kind of thing we should be doing.”

“Guests can hear and see each other from respective sides, be it from Mix-Tape or from the House of Eternal Return — they’ll get to see a bit of both worlds,” says Slaton Spangler from the Meow Wolf tech team. “I think the piece is going to be really fun for guests to play with; it’s definitely been really fun for me to play with in working with the Factory Obscura team.”

Inside one of the rooms of Factory Obscura's Mix-Tape - photo by Dennis Spielman
Inside one of the rooms of Factory Obscura’s Mix-Tape – photo by Dennis Spielman

Just the Beginning

Even as they roll out their most ambitious project to date, Factory Obscura is driven by a much larger vision: an additional 50,000-square-foot permanent arts destination in Oklahoma City, with space for massive immersive experiences, interactive gardens, artist workshops, an event space, education center, and other community and creative spaces that are critical to the world they envision.

“This isn’t just about art,” says Greenman. “It’s about radical collaboration and community- building. It’s about coming together to make something bigger than ourselves. It’s about arts education and healthy kids. It’s about thriving-wage jobs for artists and artisans. It’s about creating an environment where folks can take risks and experiment and do all the things to make this awesome city more awesome.”

The Mix-Tape experience was made possible by Steve Mason and Mason Realty Investors, who saw the collective’s vision and made a strategic investment in the belief that art can be a catalyst for the types of community-building and economy-building that contribute to a better Oklahoma.

For more information, visit www.factoryobscura.fun.

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Dennis Spielman

I'm Dennis Spielman, the Producer of Uncovering Oklahoma, which I started in 2009 as a way to show that Oklahoma isn't boring. As for about myself, I’m a creative person that writes imaginative stories. I also run The Show Starts Now Studios, which is my umbrella organization for all of my shows I create. Come join me on Patreon as I create content that adds adventure and wonder to peoples' lives. More about my stories and projects are at DennisSpielman.com