Out and About
Fall is coming and, with it, events that don’t involve roast corn and hawkers of New York Times subscriptions. For the cultured and/or Brooklyn-dwelling among us, there’s the Dumbo Arts Festival, which kicks off in a month, on September 28th. Organizers have just announced that, for the second year in a row, it will feature an enormous, high-tech work of art, courtesy of sponsor AT&T and meant as a gesture to the neighborhood’s status as one corner of the Brooklyn Tech Triangle.
According to the announcement:
Superhero is an interactive projection mapping experience in which participants are transformed into superheroes. Festival-goers will be able to fly over the multi-story façade of the landmark Empire Stores, the massive former coffee house on DUMBO’s Water Street, as well as shrink and enlarge themselves, throw light beams, and more.
Now, if someone could develop the technology to make us look like Anne Hathaway in The Dark Knight Rises, that would be great.
Out and About
Whoever planned the launch party for TheBlu, a new social-game-cum-consciousness-raising-art-experiment, did not skimp on showmanship. On the second floor of the NASDAQ MarketSite, flat-screen televisions offered glimpses of the undersea habitats awaiting those who download the game (currently available only on Mac and PC). Down below, a t-shirt-clad squad of pamphleteers fanned across Times Square, while fish swam lazily across the screens looming above them.
Boot up TheBlu, and you’ll find yourself hovering under the sea, just above a coral reef. The game focuses on exploration, rather than accomplishing predetermined tasks. You purchase your own fish and release them into the open ocean; other users fish float through your patch of reef. Click a fish that swims by, and a little pop-up menu will provide more information about the species, as well as the user that owns that individual fish. And that, in a nutshell, is the entire experience.
As one might expect from such a description, while heavily sprinkled with ultra-professional workwear and even one rather spectacular sequined minidress, the small-but-boisterous gathering was dominated by ocean lovers. But these weren’t mere beach enthusiasts. Moving among the crowd were Louie Psihoyos, director of The Cove, and Andy Jones, who took home one of Avatar‘s visual effects Oscars. At one point, Betabeat turned around to find Neil Young mere inches away.