cabs of curiosity–at UW’s Critical Media Lab

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Awesome art double-header last week down on King Street with t’art show Wednesday and the “Cabs of Curiosity” on Thursday.  After #cinqasept Thursday night, we went back down to Artery Gallery to check out this new show from Marcel O’Gorman’s posse at UW’s Critical Media Lab.

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The Artery was jumping by the time we got there around 8pm.  Our pal, Alex Williams, at left.

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My favourite painter, Dave White (left), was also on the mission.

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My other favourite painter Melissa Doherty (right) with her brother Sean Doherty were on scene.  BTW, be sure to check out Melissa’s first open studio event at The Tannery, April 29 and 30.

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Kids instinctively knew how to rock the “I Am Nobody” cabinet.  Through standard arcade-style controls, the viewers were able to interact with this cool piece.  Sorry, didn’t get the artists names, so chime in on the comments below.

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Everywhere I go… it’s always the students that have the best HD camera gear.

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The idea of this exhibition, put forth by…

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Marcel, was that these transformed and uniquely conceived arcade cabinets were a form of “essay” that made a statement.  Not necessarily games.  I took that to mean they are whatever I think they are.

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Snacks! (kudos to whomever made that pizza – rock!)

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This piece had some interesting action that I would be happy to describe in person.

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Marcel sourced these flat-packed cabinets from a guy out near Brantford (?).  Having grown up in a pre-game console world and spent a lot of cake in quarters, I find this form factor particularly seductive.  I love how this piece inverts the interaction to put you…

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inside the game.  So you complete the piece.  Clever.

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Standing room only now.

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The “Ask Zoltar” cabinet feature a real-live human (actually a few of them in shifts) in the tradition of the fortune-teller arcade game.  I thought this was a powerful piece.  I’m pretty sure that’s a real person inside.  Interesting play on the ticket booth paradigm too.  Here, Melissa…

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seeks her…

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fortune.  (“The Moon”… that’s probably good)

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This cab did, definitely, take me into the…

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uncanny valley.  That hand was a bit too real.  But you must engage the hand to progress in the game.

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Acknowledgments and thank you’s from Marcel to the students and the technical helpers who pulled out all the stops to help the students realize their pieces.  You definitely should follow CriMeLab as it offers up some really unique stuff that will bend your thinking.

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Hmmm, this looks familiar from the Critical Media Lab web site (pick up that RSS feed).

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Indeed!  Nicholas Rombes’ “DO NOT SCREEN” project, in co-operation with CriMeLab, is doing a great social-english-art experiment in sending out frames of found 16mm film, likely shot in the ‘40’s and found in an old barn in northern Michigan.  The film depicts some sort of ceremony and it will be up to the recipients of the frames to weigh in with their own critique and thoughts, to be reassembled by Rombes and shared via the web.  Right on!

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Then back outside to the ghostly trees…

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lighting the way home.

Happy making,


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2 Responses to cabs of curiosity–at UW’s Critical Media Lab

  1. Pingback: “here lies everything, the world I wanted at my feet, my victory’s complete” | thinkalongblog

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