In a part of the Vauxhall area around the north Liverpool docks, there’s a place where gusts of wind blowing in off the river seek you out with unerring inevitability. Streets of bleak-looking factories and warehouses stalk this part of the city, some forgotten remnants of industrial glory days, and some housing new businesses that are bringing a renewed sense of life to the area. I’ve taken the short trip out of town – and a big step back in time – to Carlton Street, the heart of this former manufacturing heartland, for a guided tour of a former factory unit that once specialised in making wind turbines. After a short wait, the rusting iron door in front of me opens, and I’m ushered inside one of the most adventurous venue spaces in the whole country: the INVISIBLE WIND FACTORY.
This isn’t the first time I’ve been inside this space: I was here in December 2014 to witness its very first event, when Dogshow played on a circular structure suspended 20ft above the audience. It’s now the permanent home of the team behind The Kazimier, and they’ve been plotting their various schemes here for a while. Now operating as the Invisible Wind Factory, the group of artists, scientists and experimenters are working on the first phase of the IWF venue complex proper, an absurdly ambitious project which is unlike anything ever constructed before. This will manifest itself in the immersive spectacle of OMPHALOS – ETERNAL ENERGY, the IWF’s launch event and introduction to a whole new world.
“IWF believe the secrets of the universe will be found in energy, frequency and vibration.”
I’m given a tour of the complex by one of the IWF team (no names are exchanged), walking past a pile of assorted items that is all that remains of The Kazimier club, through to the workshop area. Here, various people (styled as IWF ‘operatives’) are busy at benches and machinery, welding, sawing, grinding, tinkering with absurdly complicated electronic equipment. The adjoining wind factory venue itself is cavernous, and this is where the Omphalos event will take place. Beginning on 19th May and running over four days, each night will see the IWF team take a group of 15-20 people on a two-hour promenade tour through the facility, which will be divided into three sections: an induction in the Visitor Centre, a ritualistic experience, and the final experiment based round the Omphalos Eternal Conversion Chamber, where the secrets of the team’s investigations into the omnipresent eternal energy will be revealed. There’s also a modular multi-course dining experience inspired by the IWF team’s training regime on Saturday 21st May, for those who want more of an insight into the process. There will also be an Omphalos-flavoured launch party a week later in the venue, but this doesn’t include any of the tour.
“The hypothesis of Invisible Wind proposed that an unseen energy, radiating through the ether could, if harnessed, hold significant importance for humanity.”
In their explorations into the depths of collective consciousness, the IWF team have happened upon an impressive spiritual mythology. Ostensibly, their operatives began their search by looking for the source of “invisible wind” – allegedly the phenomenon that caused Dogshow’s suspended stage to rotate when they played that opening night in 2014 – which the team believe is a source of unseen energy radiating through the ether. These investigations led them to the discovery of the Empyrean and Khthonic forces, positive and negative terminals working from opposite ways towards the same goal – that of harnessing invisible wind. For this event, the Invisible Wind Factory becomes the navel of the world, where the heavenly Empyreanaughts will meet with the underworld-dwelling Khthonaughts in a struggle for the purest, most ancient form of energy.
“Through our research we have come to a profound realisation. From that realisation comes an experience that must be shared. We invite you to join us and take a journey into the Unseen.”
Disseminating information through a series of public service information videos, the IWF team have slowly introduced us to the world of this “secretive organisation” and “uncompromising mission”. Through all their Kaizmier happenings, this team have always structured their events around rich narratives, which give rise to a flamboyant look and feel that is so convincing. The insanely detailed layers of preparation in costume, set design and content all take their cue from the extensive backstories they concoct, and Omphalos is their boldest yet. This time the narrative forms the exterior of the project, and they’re inviting us to suspend our disbelief and step inside. As one of the operatives tells me, “it’s all about the process”.
“Once inside the Omphalos you will witness a manifestation of sound, light and visions of unearthly potential.”
The chances are you still don’t really know what this Omphalos event actually is; and, to be quite honest, I’m not 100% sure either. What I am sure of, however, is that it will be an impressive spectacle of theatre, technology, lighting, music and spirituality, a journey of discovery as much as an immersive experience. The scale of the whole operation is baffling; epic would be a suitable description of it, but I’m not even sure that grasps the detail to which this team of experimenters have gone in creating this experience. As Nietzsche himself said, “stare long enough into the abyss and the abyss stares back at you.” Disbelief duly suspended, I am willing to let the the eternal energy of the Omphalos take me wherever I need to go.
“Macrocosmic Flow: the movement of Invisible Wind between the Empyrean World and our own.”