Thursday, March 7, 2013

Teen Council's W3FI Opening

This blog features MCA Denver Teen Council Member Polly Adams guest blogging about the recent Teen Council (TeCo) opening. 

On Saturday, February 23, the Teen Council (TeCo) members held an opening for our latest efforts, the W3FI Project that we completed with the help of artists Laleh Mehran and Chris Coleman.
For the W3FI Project, we created a wall vinyl with silhouettes of buildings, icons, or physical landmarks from our communities. Then we each selected keywords, which represented to us the cultural landmarks we chose. These included "yuppies," "suburbia," "play," "heart," and others. These keywords are pulled from Tweets as they occur and projected on the wall over the silhouettes. The clever Chris Coleman set it up so that the tweets would be actively rotating around the W3FI spiral, continuously updating throughout the duration of the exhibit. These keywords came from Tweets only in the surrounding areas of each icon, with the tweets we projected cut off at a certain number of words.

For instance, my keyword, "play", would be pulled from Tweets within a four mile radius around McWilliams Park, the icon I chose in South Denver. Since the text projected on the installation only includes a fragment of the actual tweet, this ended up being pretty funny because it was always a sort of mystery as to what the user was actually trying to say. "Finish the tweet" became an enjoyable game for me and my friends on the night of the opening.

The most popular keyword for the tweets was chosen by TeCo member Kamron and happened to be "twerking"...  let's just say that apparently a lot of people in Denver enjoy the fine art of club dancing! 

My favorite part of the opening was near the end of the night, when partygoers stopped to listen to the artists and interns discuss the process and idea behind the piece, as well as answer some questions. Getting to discuss the project was a fun and challenging experience, because we all discovered that the whole thing probably didn't make as much sense to those who hadn't been working on it for six weeks straight. Sparking up conversations about what "twerking" really even means, and why our icons were so important to us turned out to be quite entertaining, especially with such a kind and witty crowd of people. We also got some great group shots.

See, aren't we pretty? We'd like to think we look good next to our installation project, anyways. 

Teen Council members with artists Laleh Mehran & Chris Coleman, and Programming Manager Ama Mills-Robertson 

The W3FI project will be up through Sunday, March 24, 2013. Come check out our exhibit!

For more information on the Teen Arts Council, visit their blog.

all photos by Jenn LaVista. 


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