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Technological Surrealism / Alec Nerds Out

Culture Crawl Wrap-up

So the neighbourhood survived the East Side Culture Crawl for another year — it was a beautiful weekend, no projects self-immolated, and people overall seemed to enjoy the presentation.

This year the Culture Crawl sprawled over 4 days — adding Thursday evening to the mix for the first time — which probably makes sense for the big studios, but felt a little drawn-out for those of us on the periphery. I had enough visitors on Thursday and Friday nights to make the opening worthwhile, but in the end had to listen to the same song for 4 days.

This is the second time I’ve exhibited my work, and I’ve figured out how to do it within the context of a guided tour. Gutting my living room worked well and with this year’s additions it filled out nicely. I have a few larger projects that I might have difficulty finding room for if I ever complete them.

I received plenty of positive feedback; there was a lot of variety in favourite pieces. The View-Master Video was temperamental (dust?) but made a good impression; Bucky looked most at home in a gallery setting; Ottoman Empire, Duchess, Macrowave, and Wartmouse provided quick impact with less explanation. Phonetendo got a lot of talk. Drumboard gave me a chance to sit, if only briefly. And Challenger got a lot of groans but I’m still awaiting the promised smashing.

So, overall: success. The other Culture Crawl I did in 2012 felt like new territory, and this one was familiar, so I’m casting about for next steps. I’m confident about the show-worthiness of these projects. I’ve presented at one school which I wildly enjoyed. People mentioned the Art Gallery, Science World, and one or two specific (unfortunately not local) artists. I suppose the next step will be to simply try approaching someone. Ideas? Contacts?

HUGE THANKS to everyone who helped: Ingo and his plinth-making prowess, Aida and Remi for helping keep the charming and faultless but also two-year-old Luciana at bay, various Smechers and affiliates for feeding and moral support, and everyone who dropped by. It was great to see all of you, even if I didn’t get a chance to say hi individually.

One final rant: Why is it that we’re so willing to divide into “makers” vs. “artists”? Nobody I asked was aware of another artist on the Crawl who was working with electronics or software. That kind of work goes into other places like the Maker Faires and various hacker spaces, where presumably people don’t permit themselves to monkey with Art out of a sense of reciprocity. This voluntary and totally artificial division is missing so much good potential for creativity. Yes, I had a few people leave once they realized I didn’t have framed paint on a canvas — probably a whopping 4 people out of several hundred. The rest were happily surprised.

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  1. Alex Garnett says:

    I still dearly love Challenger and I only just looked at the comments you got on Hackaday for the first time. Honestly surprised at how little those people can appreciate absurdity.

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