Friday, December 14, 2007

Turn up the Juice

By now, you’ve probably gathered that I love me some Rock & Roll—fast and hard or slow and loud, I’ll take it anyway I can get it. But other things tickle my fancy too. Like art. And science. And art mixed with science, oh yeah baby, that’s the spot. Any exhibit that warns you not to enter if you’ve got a pacemaker or a metal plate in your head, well, that’s obviously going to be right up my alley. Enter PEOPLE DOING STRANGE THINGS WITH ELECTRICITY.

Last Saturday was the opening night of the exhibit I had been looking forward to going to since the Seattle Dorkbot meeting last November where in between talking about nonlocal quantum communication and the annoying potential problems associated with time travel, my friend Eric McNeill handed me a postcard advertising the show. When the opening night finally rolled around, a bunch of other engineers, artists and electricity geeks let our inner pocket protectors shine proudly as we wandered the 911 Media Arts Center watching the blinking lights and interacting with the works. In true Rettig form, I had a hand in spilling no less than three glasses of red wine in under five minutes, but few seemed even to care as pure unadulterated chatter about circuits, diodes and high voltage transistors persisted, refusing to be derailed by something as simple as a cup of fermented grapes.

When I wasn't busy adding my own artistry to other people’s clothing, I was able to pick out a few of my favorite pieces. Shelly Farnham’s Electric Scrying Pool, a shimmering futuristic oracle of sorts was on the list. Shelly Farnham’s Electric Scrying PoolSo was Rolf van Widenfelt’s piece, FiveByEight, a light sculpture of scrolling LEDs. It reminded me of a much classier version of my ever so tacky scrolling LED belt buckle that was tucked away in my closet. I sighed when I thought of all the inappropriate places I’d worn that belt buckle, and how this place above all others, would have welcomed me with open arms as I scrolled “For a good time, call 206-351-XXXX” above my crotch--if only I would have thought to wear it.

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