Update 9-15-08: “Gears are turning and plans for the relocation of NIMBY are in the works” on the NIMBY website!

Update 4-13-11: NIMBY continues to rock!

NIMBY is  was is an incredible space  for art. The place has ENERGY! I worked on Colossus there. I’ve got friends that work on art there, including the Dance Dance Immolation crew. The Serpent Mother is being stored there. And… Therm, Kinetic Steamworks, Simnuke, The Disgusting Spectacle, Tom Kennedy. Those are just the artists and groups I know personally.

I spent my first summer in San Francisco grinding away at the sharp edges of Colossus. I had seen Corbett Griffith and Zachary Coffin and Daniel Bauen at the Desert Arts Preview at the Crucible in July. Corbett said something like, “it’s been entirely designed and most of the parts have been cut out. Now we just have to put it together.” I was all over it. I walked up and gave them a good hunk of my summer. One highlight that summer was that I got to see…. take a read.

The next summer, I got to attend an incredible Fight Party

local version:

A groovy panorama of fight night. Click me!

And here’s a video walkthrough I did of NIMBY when I was working on Colossus in 2005

Here is how the NIMBY website  reads today:

RIP NIMBY – April 1, 2004 to Sept 11, 2008.

posted by admin on Sep 11

As of September 11, 2008 the City of Oakland has regretfully closed the industrial art space known as NIMBY. For the last 5 years NIMBY has been a center of creative collaboration and artistic expression for talented mis-fits.
What happened?

Early morning on September 10th a fire occurred in a studio space in the NIMBY warehouse. An unattended candle that was being used in a digital photography project has been cited at the cause of the fire. Several NIMBY tenants who were working late (or early) attempted to put out the fire themselves, but the fire got out of control. Two calls were made to the Oakland Fire Department – one from the nearby Tork systems, and one from NIMBY brought a quick response. The fire was successfully put out, leaving NIMBY in fair shape and smoke free. Property damage was confined to the studio space where the fire originated and some sky-lights in the buildings roof.

However, the Oakland Fire Department was then obligated to further investigate the cause of the fire and conditions in the shop space. Following the fire NIMBY tenants were ordered to vacate the premises and were only allowed supervised entry to access tools that they needed.

A complete inspection, with representatives from four different city departments, followed on September 11th. The inspectors and fire fighters were too numerous to count and they scrutinized every inch of NIMBY. The inspectors loved everything; the hot rods, the glass blowing, the fire sculptures, the tile work, and the wood working. However, they were aghast that all of these projects were being done in the same space. They hated to shut us down, but couldn’t find any way to legally let us continue.
burned out containersWhen they left, they let us know that our only option was to vacate the space and start fresh somewhere else. Jail was an alternative if we chose not to comply. Bringing everything up to code in the current building – ain’t gonna happen.
What next?

The city of Oakland is doing everything they can to support the relocation of NIMBY in Oakland. They want to keep us here and support the arts – but they are going to make sure that we do it to code. We are so pleased to have this unexpected outpouring of city support and we have already looked a number of potential new buildings.
What can you do?

Donate! Funds are needed to support the relocation effort. Even though the city is helping – they won’t be forking over the bucks it takes to move over a thousand tons of bullshit to a new location. So help us.


The rest of the NIMBY website on 9-12-08


  1. […] Nimby and Ace within a month of another…  (and then there’s that whole stock market crash […]

  2. Daniel Bauen says:

    It’s unfortunate that Nimby has been shut down. It seemed inevitable, because it was just a matter of time till someone did something foolish to run it for everyone. Same thing happened here in Atlanta to a similar artist studio workplace.
    Robots smashing junk in an abandoned lot in west Oakland was both surreal and awesome!
    Can I get that Colossus Walkthrough video from you?


  3. lee says:

    It looks like Nimby isn’t dead yet! They are working feverishly on getting a new space in Oakland! The NIMBY website has more.

    Daniel, I emailed you a link photos and the above video :-)
    You’ll find more NIMBY and Colossus photos on my Burning Man page. Look for Colossus and Burning Man 2005 images.

  4. Michael Snook says:

    By the way we are back from the dead we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon

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