EXTRAORDINARYa brief recap of ANALOG CAVE
I love the word “extraordinary.” We all know it means “beyond the ordinary,” but I like how it sneaks in the notion that simply having more of the ordinary could lead to something wondrous. This is what happened at the ANALOG CAVE project that we at Rain Taxi created with our pals at mnartists.org for the third annual Northern Spark festival, in which scores of art projects large and small took place from dusk to dawn.
Hosted in the heart of Northern Spark at Bedlam Theater, ANALOG CAVE was a two-part construction: in one enclosed “room” decked out with funky retro care, we invited the public to enter and use our writing prompts and tools (a manual typewriter, a wooden desk with stationary for letter writing, a turntable with a notepad for responses, and an erasure station piled with old books). The author placed their words through a mail slot in the wall; on the receiving end, editors read (and sometimes revised) the work. Next, a team of artists transformed the writing into a visual work at various stations of their own (a cartooning desk, an overhead projector, an easel, a chalkboard)—all on view to the public through Bedlam’s giant street-facing window.
Our goals in this project were manifold: we wanted to honor the spontaneity and energy of artistic creation, the universal impulse toward self-expression through language, and the more specific stylistic drive toward quality and transformation. That we had lines half the night to get in was a testament to the spirit we hoped to provoke with this “crowd-sourcing” project, and that some of the work—on both sides of the mail slot—was so damn good was thrilling. FYI, each art piece (and some of the original and edited texts!) is being photographed and posted to mnartists.org’s tumblr, MNMADE—an extension of the project that not only celebrates the unique artistry of ANALOG CAVE but one that we hope shows the creativity of the documentary impulse too.
I want to thank everyone listed below: especially our collaborators at mnartists.org for their generous, genuine, and fun process while we developed this concept together, the amazing artists that joined us to visualize others’ words from dusk to dawn, and the thousands of people that passed through ANALOG CAVE and contributed or marveled at the artistic feats being accomplished in real time.
— Eric Lorberer, Executive Director, Rain Taxi Review of Books
COORDINATORS AND ARTISTS