City Museum in St. Louis

Well I’m really late to the game but the City Museum is really amazing and incredible. It’s a predecessor to and in the vein of the amazing Meow Wolf and in the spirit of everything that The Vessel should have been but wasn’t. If you’re in St. Louis, you need to spend a few hours here, preferably when schools are not out for spring break as I experienced yesterday. They have adults only times as well which I recommend if you are an adult.

It’s really an inspiring place not only because of the art, but also because of the amount of trust and faith that it places into its attendees. While they clearly have safety in mind, there are many, many points through out this place where people could get hurt if they do something stupid or are not paying attention. So often these kind of places feel sanitized, where every possible risk is removed, so this place is really refreshing.

Also, interestingly—and maybe because it was overrun with spring break kids when I went—but I saw very few people taking selfies, perhaps because they were truly engaged and inspired?

Here’s some cameraphone photos, click any to enlarge.

Interesting (Relatively) Recent Shows: Travis Scott

As part of my sabbatical research, I’ve been digging through a bunch of notes about interesting shows I’ve been collecting, so I thought I’d share a few here.

Travis Scott has some pretty interesting production elements (lasers, video, moving scenery):

I would have thought with all the money they were spending they could have found a better way than a 6’ ladder to get him into the roller coaster

Apparently Tommy Lee of Motley Crue says that Scott ripped off his ideas. He may have a point:

The truss and related gear was apparently supplied by SGPS in LA, who apparently also supplied the Motley Crue tours.

If you see other interesting shows please let me know!

Interesting (Relatively) Recent Show: Justin TImberlake

As part of my sabbatical research, I’ve been digging through a bunch of notes about interesting shows I’ve been collecting, so I thought I’d share a few here. This is pretty cool:

According to an interview in Live Design, lighting designer Nick Whitehouse of Fireplay says

"There’s a moment where he does some choreography with the mic stand during the laser moment," says Whitehouse. "I’m not sure anyone would believe us if we said that was a week and a half’s worth of programming just for a ten second moment. I would say there are 150 cues in that scene."

Also, lasers are definitely popular again

The Vessel at Hudson Yards


I went over Monday to see Hudson Yards’ giant inverted copper pinecone (or shawarma) which is temporarily (and pretentiously) named “The Vessel”. While it does look cool with my superwide 14mm lens, that's an illusion: in person, this selfie tower to nowhere feels sterile and soul-less (and, fortunately, my photos are now safe from Hudson Yards’ breathtaking rights overreach). And that fits in Hudson Yards, because the whole development looks like a real life version of an over-polished computer-generated architectural rendering.

I guess the endless steps could be an existential metaphor for life’s meaningless trudge, or something, since there’s no humor or joy or whimsy to be found here. There’s also not even a bench to be found, and that’s fine, because, despite the literal copper-colored reflectors, there’s not really anything to reflect on. I guess they want to process tourists through getting their Instagram selfies as fast as possible. There is a pretty cool elevator to accommodate guests in wheelchairs, but it looks like an afterthought, slapped on the inside of the cone, ruining the symmetry. They could have put it outside but I guess they didn't want to ruin the billionaires’ view from the surrounding buildings. There’s a glass wall of buildings keeping the real city at bay (you can spot the Empire State Building beyond the mall and through exhaust stack waves), and a narrow view of the river beyond the train yards.

The whole structure, which could have been a fascinating, stonehenge-like monument that feels a part of nature, or works with the sun in fascinating ways, instead will rarely even get much of a sunrise or sunset because of the wall of glass towerblocks that surround it.And the copper panels are positioned to reflect down.

This spire of geometric hype, a paean to mall culture, could at least someday be a place for the billionaires who occupy this inhuman monstrosity of a development to station their para-military snipers to keep out the riff raff.