BTRIPP (btripp) wrote,

Wheee ... Art*O*Mat!

Ah, the Art*O*Mat®! What a multi-faceted, yet simple, joy! For those of you who've not been taking notes on my various blitherings here, these are re-envisioned cigarette machines which vend small pieces of ART in little cello-wrapped packages. Starting (naturally enough) in Winstom-Salem, NC, with a single machine as part of an art opening, there are now 71 machines all around the country ... one of which is at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Yesterday, Daughter #1 had a half-day of school, which they took advantage of by having the PTA's annual skating party in the afternoon down in Grant Park, for which I drew "Daddy duty". As it was quite a nice day (for being in the mid-20's), on the way back from the skating we meandered through all the cool new stuff in the "millennium park" project (including our first time going over the BP Bridge) and found ourselves outside the Cultural Center. I said "Hey, you want to do the Art*O*Mat®?" and she, of course, said "sure!".

While not "cheap" (each item costs $5 ... you get tokens in the gift shop), it's always fun to get a little surprise bit of art for a pull on a classic cigarette machine lever! Daughter #1 got the last "Fused Glass Pin" in the machine, and I spent some time deciding what to get (there are 22 slots on the Cultural Center's machine, so if it's been stocked recently, there's quite an array of choices!), ending up opting for "Industrial Glitz" which turns out to be a pin by artist Sarah Crumpler, constructed from various bits of "industrial" detritus with paint, etc., accents. Very cool stuff ... and not too shabby a doo-dad for the five bucks!

(sigh) ... I wish I had more free time to mess around with making stuff ... I've designed 2 or 3 workable pieces for the Art*O*Mat® format, and would love to go into production (I think you have to commit to a minimum of 50 pieces) with a couple of them. I have a really cool one that is a sort of mini-folding tryptych "screen" but it's very labor-intensive and I've not quite worked out the paint-tape optimum process. Oh, well ... maybe one of these days.

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