Got here at 4:30pm (having missed my class at 12:00pm) and found that things were already being taken down. I used to really hate exhibitions being taken down before their advertised closing time; I guess I still hate it, but have to acknowledge that such is reality. I just wish if people are tearing down at 4pm, they should have advertised today’s gallery hours as 12:00–4:00pm and not 12:00–5:00pm.
“Old media requires lubrication.” This was one of the answers to the fake questionnaire I was given at Night Kitchen during last year’s Nuit Blanche. Back then the answer didn’t really make much sense to me, and in fact I thought the answer was bizarre. But of course, I hadn’t been involved in any “old media” creation that would have required lubrication. Imagine how I felt when I had left the installation turned on for the night and then discovered bits of the sprocket wheel on the wooden frame. I was so glad the wheel had not been destroyed. So I guess I can now sympathize with that answer to that fake question: Old media does require lubrication. It probably requires daily lubrication, even. But does that mean our installation, with such a strong electronics component, is still “old media”? So “new media” is virtual only? I don’t know if I can side with this conclusion, yet.
When people saw our Blind Reading installation, they often ask, “How does it work?” The fact that the piece is an art installation and not a design artefact must not be obvious. Even the speeches alluded to results of design research (when there is, as far as I can tell, only one product design presentation in the whole exhibition). Even the official blog of the exhibition sounds as if they got it wrong and thought our art piece was a design artefact. But at least the installation held up for the evening. (The realization that, other than the incorrect wiring, the root cause of our problem was mechanical in nature helped immensely.) People did ask, we tried to explain, and I hope we got our points across. I still fear Wednesday: I have never been on this side of the table at an artist’s talk before, and I have not gone to enough artist’s talks, but my consolation is that I will probably not be the one doing most of the talking.