Sunday, September 16, 2007

Work is Play: MediaSauce at Oranje

Last night was Oranje, one of Indy's annual can't-miss arts events. This was its sixth year, and by all accounts, it keeps getting better. In and of itself, the premise is unique because it treats art as an experience to be emersed into rather than something you just observe and pass by.

Each year the event takes place in a new location, most often in a large, vacant commercial or industrial building downtown. This year was held at the former Ross-Gage building at 22nd and Illinois. This giant facility kept hundreds of people gainfully employed for decades by doing nothing other than cutting out the thumb-shaped tabs on dictionaries, encyclopedias, and bibles that were shipped around the world. Amazing. We're truly in a different era now.

Anyway, this empty space is transformed for one night to allow dozens of local artists the opportunity to show and sell their work and gain exposure from thousands of visitors. Additionally, there are a multitude of stages with live music and a fashion show.

As an event sponsor, MediaSauce had the task of taking a blank 20'x20' space and transforming it into something significant enough to represent our ethos to all in attendance. Our choice was to create an interactive photobooth themed Work is Play. We built an environment out of conduit and visquine that allowed us to shoot images of attendees and then create an ongoing work of art throughout the night by projecting the images onto the opaque visquine walls for everyone to see. Also created on-the-fly was the web-based version of the experience, allowing people to find their specific image and download a high-resolution file to print or share.

In addition to the booth, fellow Saucers Ben and Dan worked together throughout the night to create an impressive graffiti mural and Abby did an amazing job with the makeup in what was basically an "unfashion show" that was a highlight of the night. The show had nothing to do with fashion, instead, it was all about the look she created.

All told, it was an impressive night. Creativity was abound, and the 20+ MediaSaucer who volunteered to help out in and around the booth had a great time hanging out and creating something truly unique that those who were in attendance truly enjoyed. It's unique for us to get the chance to have instantaneous feedback. Since most of our work lives online, we don't always see first-hand how excited people get by interacting with our ideas, this event gave us that chance.

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