Sunday, July 25, 2010

Art in the Community

It's that time of year again. Humongo (formerly Plaid), the agency that is super-smart about everything social media and confectionery, is touring the US and visiting bunches of cool people on the way. My favorite stop so far was early on in the tour - the NuPenny store.

Image via boingboing

The store is an art installation in retail space by Randy Regier- a store of retro-looking, not quite real toys in shades of grey - that you can only see thru the windows.

I love this on 2 major points:

Unexpected Art.
As most of you know, my brother, CW Roelle, is an artist. While in Baltimore, he'd often show his work in a cafe. He did not want people walking into his show with "expectations" or preconceived notions about "art". Instead, he wanted them to see the art in "living spaces", to be surprised by it, and therefore elicit perhaps a more honest response. NuPenny is much like this, as it could be just another store on the street, but there's something special and unique about it.

Peering into someone else's dreams. Regier talks about the project as a dream space. Seeking to give people the impression they're peering into someone else's dreams. Giving an almost tangible essence to the experience, akin to the physical reactions we can have to vivid dreams. By not letting people into the space, he's keeping the experience at arm's length. It doesn't become "too real" so the dream-like atmosphere is not broken. This is awesome. It brings TOM associations with the film Inception and with the intense dream-communications Shadow experiences in Gaiman's American Gods. It is a physical embodiment of the principles behind good stories. I'd love to hear stories from visitors about the experience...

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