Curbed: Remembering Fort Thunder: 11 Dudes, Two Bands, One Working Toilet

by Mercedes Kraus

In the summer of 2001, readers of Nest — the outré-yet-fashionable interiors magazine — were introduced to Fort Thunder, an art commune of 11 dudes living in a warehouse in a former textile factory in Providence, Rhode Island, that would become legendary for its live punk shows and its comics, posters, and other DIY printed matter.


Nest had discovered a “freewheeling vitality” among the residents of the 7,000-square-foot space, which was covered in an overwhelming number of “objects whose last home was the sidewalk, a garbage pail, or a dumpster.” The artist and musician Jim Drain, who had moved to Providence to study sculpture at the Rhode Island School of Design, gave the first quote in the article, calling the layers of stuff a “massive collage” that had been spurred when everyone started drawing on the white walls. That tracks, considering Fort Thunder had been founded in 1995 by artists-musicians Mat Brinkman and Brian Chippendale. Inside, there was a screen-printing studio, and — in these final years before youth culture became completely digital — residents produced posters advertising bands that were playing at the Fort and throughout Providence’s underground, later memorialized in a 2006 exhibition at the RISD Museum.


Read the full article here.

October 10, 2020