Squeezed Hybrid Prototypes in Anyways...

Photo: PaCu Box (above). Additional photos by Tim Shore.

because I'm such a trooper.

So I was on the subway going home last night debating, should I go home to bed and drink plenty of fluids, or should I go to The Canadian Film Centre's Habitat New Media Lab's 2006 HYBRID MEDIA Exhibition. Decisions, decisions: new media hybrid prototypes or bed; interactive multi-platform experience or chicken soup. Finally my sense of duty (and fun) won over my common sense, and so at the last minute I got off at Lansdowne station and doubled back to Dufferin where I waited, in a crowd for over a half an hour and in the cold, for the bus. When a cop cruiser showed up instead and started to barricade Bloor traffic, I said "forget this noise", and started walking, which we all know is a mistake as I easily get lost. Thankfully this time I made it in tact, weak, with only a few wrong turns behind me.

As soon as I made it upstairs to the 2cd floor of the Gladstone, 1214 Queen Street West, I made a beeline for the PaCu Boxes, something that piqued my interest when doing initial research for the show. PaCu stands for Participatory Culture, and is the brain child of Rachel Vulliens and Tom Kuo, two great salt-of-the-earth type people to meet. Anyone can contract to exhibit their arts inside the PaCu Box, a mini display case affixed in a public space that even has a solar panel to keep the art well-lit in the dark. Vulliens and Kuo not only had a great idea, they were also well-versed in the issues surrounding the use of public space and sensitive to both its implications and sheer logistics.

Galen Scorer, the Research and Technology Programmes Manager at Habitat, was hopeful that the project could be launched in Toronto, as did another much-loved (by Toronto) Habitat project: Murmur.


After reluctantly leaving the PaCu Boxes, I visited Ryan Fitzgerald, the writer of the Perfidia Gardens Game. Right off the bat, I warned him that I am really bad at explaining anything technical to which he said, "Great" as this project accommodates the technically-challenged Alternative Reality game player. Unlike shows like Lost, which have explored the convergence of media into down the rabbit hole/follow the Easter egg clues, Perfidia Gardens seizes on this genre in a literary art form using Dante's Inferno as a vehicle. I'm going to take the prototype for a test drive right after posting this blog.

I passed on a screening of Meanwhile (photo:right), an interactive non-linear film, as I knew once I sat down I would be out for the count. Thankfully, I can still check it out online (or go back to see it as I still might).

In the Things Left Unsaid room, I was asked if I had anything left unsaid I might want to "confess" to the website, but as I have THE BIGGEST MOUTH in the world, I said it was highly unlikely I did. Checking out the website just now, it appears a lot of people have had much to come clean about in the last 12 hours.

The night was rounded off with a visit to the VirJ (photo:below) exhibit, which I mentioned yesterday, and the Shanghai Gallery (photo:below) room with its delightfully creepy, absurdist futuristic Half Life puppet renderings. In fact I think I might go back to give these ones a better look when my head is in a better place. You can check out the show today and tomorrow (Sat 14, Sun 15) 11-7 pm, or throughout the week Wed-Fri (Oct 18-20) 5-10 pm, free, on the 2cd floor of the Gladstone, 1214 Queen St W. For now, I'm gonna get me some of that chicken soup and bed.


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