Five things to do this weekend: May 11-12
You could be tempted to leave town, traveling back/forward in time to the Watch City Festival steampunk spectacular – only a short commuter rail ride to Waltham from Porter Square – but then you’d realize you were right at the northeast edge of the weekend’s Cambridge Open Studios North/West, with access to artists studios in Porter, Harvard, Alewife and Fresh Pond.
Here are even more things likely to keep you in town this weekend:
Experience life within the bubble. A bit of bubble fluid and a plastic wand can be had at the dollar store; Mike the Bubble Man goes beyond, mixing magic and science in an interactive 45-minute indoor show with music, choreography and comedy. You and your kids may never see bubbles the same way – especially since people can stand inside the bubbles Mike blows and look out. Tickets are $10 for the 11 a.m. Saturday at Oberon, 2 Arrow St., Harvard Square.
Ride “The Sense of Unity Healing Machine.” The open studios will have lots of amazing stuff, but not many works you can climb into and ride to a feeling of panspiritual well-being. Artist and philosopher Mahmood Rezaei-Kamalabad has been working in Cambridge for three decades, much of the time focused on uniting the world’s three largest religions “toward a place of spiritual cooperation in the leadership of the world.” He designed The Sense of Unity Healing Machine in 1985 to help. The gyroscope-like machine mimics the rotation of the earth, so a rider secured to a stretcher within it experiences similar rotational movements – something the artist thinks has health benefits even on a molecular and cellular level.
Judge for yourself with a 6 p.m. tea and talk with the artist and 7 p.m. live demonstration, all amid more traditional metal sculptural art at his unique venue: Aladdin Auto Repair Gallery, 162 Alewife Brook Parkway, what one Yelp reviewer called a “hidden den of spirituality aka auto shop” (and what he advertises as “Autobody, Mind & Soul”). It’s behind the Fresh Pond Cinema in the Fresh Pond Mall. For information, call (617) 547-8000.
Honor slain MIT police officer Sean Collier with a benefit concert. The delightful retro-inspired bands Spirit Kid and Cuffs will perform to honor the memory of Sean A. Collier, who was shot April 18, donating the proceeds to Collier’s favorite charity, The Jimmy Fund. Collier, a Somerville resident, was involved heavily in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology community, and it’s campus-based radio station WMBR 88.1 FM putting on this show. The live/DJ-ed show takes place from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday at The Coffeehouse in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Stratton Student Center, 84 Massachusetts Ave. There is a suggested $8 donation. For information, call Generoso Fierro at (617) 324-0490 or send e-mail to email@example.com.
Get your face painted. Uh, yeah. Face painting – that staple of moon-bounce events eye-rollingly alluring to kids who delight in having a smeary flower on their cheek that they can’t see anyway. Sign me up. But this is not that kind of face painting. This Mothers Day event brings in (along with a bit of honey tasting and visits with honeybees at work, since this takes place at Cambridge’s Follow the Honey specialty store) artist Jordan Piantedosi for a truly artistic take on the medium. This is face painting by an artist who shows at Cambridge’s Blanc Gallery and Boston’s Yes Si Oui, gives talks at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and does commissions for Oona’s – a self-proclaimed “maximalist” painter specializing in swirling, swooning, fluid applications of color on women landing somewhere between pinups and Gibson girls on a surrealist spectrum.
So, yeah, not the typical face painting experience.
It takes place from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday (with breaks for the artist) at Follow the Honey, 1132 Massachusetts Ave., near Harvard Square. For information, call (617) 945-7356.
Help launch the Together Festival. The Together Festival of music, art and technology takes place from Sunday through May 19 at 22 venues in Cambridge, Somerville and Boston, but it alls starts Sunday with a pre-launch DJ/rap show in Boston; launch party in Harvard Square with poppy producer Tiga and Mistaker, a Brooklyn DJ; and a psychedelic melding of music and art called the New Cosmic Mix in 5-D projected onto the 57-foot dome of the Charles Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Science, which straddles the Cambridge/Boston line as well as the Charles River. There will be two 90-minute cosmic mixes, starting at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $15.