The East Kensington WEIRDO Festival and the Somatosensory Homunculus: a day of phosphorescence, barbecue, and Mom almost getting a beer.

Ok wow, so Tuck and Mom had a giant puppet that they had agreed to bring to the first annual East Kensington WEIRDO Festival, but with just-starting his Doctoral program, the puppet did not nearly get finished in time, and we decided it would actually be even more fun and more appropriate to the theme of sensory input (we’ll get to this later) to have others working on the puppet and adding their own bits to it. So that’s what we decided to do. Keren! We need the vehicle!

Keren is pretty much up for anything. Since it was only a few blocks away, we drove through one of America’s largest open air heroin markets with the kids, for a little more education. (It’s very sad, but does not feel particularly dangerous. Everyone’s very slow if they are moving at all.)

And then we found the Festival. I, personally, was charmed by its modest beginnings.

But the fact was — it was the best street festival I’ve ever been to.

There was incredibly cool tech stuff that the kids got to try and I did not even have time to ask about, as we were looking for the guys from Fireball Printing (who set up the festival) and who had made brochures for our project for us, and we were getting ready to see a production by Archedream Humankind, the blacklight dance/performance group.

Tara is part of the Archedream family and that means Young XJ is too! And now he can identify facial features!

After that, we set up our puppet head and hands outside and boy, we had more helpers than we could keep up with. We have done pre-arranged workshops and walk-by festival workshops and this was THE most friendly, most involved crowd I’ve ever seen at a festival. A really different vibe.

This guy (we have named him Gabriel currently), is a long way from his final form, but Tucker made a beautiful booklet, which we were just letting stick to our hands and allowing interested onlookers to peel off if they wanted to know more (we were really busy for awhile.)

homunculusbooklet1

homunculusbooklet2

homunculusbooklet3

homunculusbooklet4

Meanwhile, Claudia held a Young XJ,

And Béla held a tarantula, scorpion, and Claudia had some kind of snake at some point and I missed it:

And we had some VERY good barbecue from a place I can’t remember the name of, but it’s okay because the menu and the wet-nap wrappers are glued to one of Gabriel’s hands! Keren had had enough festing before we had, and Tara and James stayed on even longer than we did, but they put Gabriel in their car and we went home, and they dropped Gabriel off to us later.

A somatosensory homunculus is a very good science lesson! You don’t have to make an enormous one to play. Tucker’s booklet is a pretty good basis. And, it’s always nice to be able to identify how you feel.

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