"bA2cchus '70"
Proposal for a teenage "Villa of the Mysteries" mural in southeastern Michigan


Working Sketch version February 2000

Classical forms from Pompeii's "Villa of the Mysteries" frescoes are adapted to depict imagery drawn from the Ann Arbor of thirty years ago, the artist's adolescence, to draw evocative parallels between liminal zones of permission and spirituality in Pompeii and Ann Arbor.

Imagery alludes to historically relevant events that may include the Living Theater's controversial performance of "Dionysius in '69", nubile teenage bodies, rich oriental patterns of clothing, ecstatic rites of acoustic and electric music and dance, ritualized recreational drug use (discreetly handled), political phenomena like the Hash Bash and the White Panther Party's teenage members.

The artist will use this as an opportunity to research Pompeii and the Roman empire to give the work further depth and dignity. 


Figures in mural (depicting representative types of the era) will be drawn freehand by the artist in poses inspired by Pompeiian frescoes, then scanned into Adobe Photoshop.  There the imagery will be assembled and colored, largely umber and Naples yellow on Pompeiian red ground. 

Relevant imagery, texts and artifacts from Ann Arbor in the 1970s will be scanned and manipulated for a subtle informative background. 

Mural will be digitally output to vinyl fabric (as were Mike's "Market Street Carnival" murals in San Francisco) for temporary and/or permanent installation. Bronze leaf accents may be added to the surface after printing or installation.





Mike Mosher's creative works drawing from his exciting Ann Arbor youth (Pioneer High School '73) include the muralized hypermedia kiosk "Collaborationation: Cyberspace, Garage Bands and Community Murals" at the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, 1992; the computer-aided performance "@narchy A2rbor" at the Performance Network, Ann Arbor, 1993; a CD-ROM prototype "The Ann Arbor Psychedelic Scene of the '70s", 1994; articles in the Ann Arbor Observer and online journal Bad Subjects; and readings of original fiction on KFJC-FM.

(c) Mike Mosher 2000

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