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MTAA-RR » news » mriver » vernacular alien world drawing championship maryland:

Sep 27, 2009

Vernacular Alien World Drawing Championship, Maryland

posted at 15:19 GMT by M.River in /news/mriver

Vernacular Alien World Drawing Championship, Maryland

On September 25, 2009, people gathered in The Electronic Gallery at Salisbury University. In the gallery, two large sheets of paper had been tapped on the floor. Each sheet was divided into 4 horizontal sections.

As we sat on the floor, I explained that we were about to stage the world’s first Vernacular Alien World Drawing Championship.

I began by talking about the choice of aliens. Although most people would not say they have seen an alien, we all know what they look like. We may even have drawn one before. As an example, I image-searched Google for “aliens.”

I also explained that although we know what aliens look like, we don’t have examples of “vernacular aliens.” We then looked at a Google for “vernacular aliens.” At the time, it resulted only with images announcing the Vernacular Alien World Drawing Championship and other MTAA works.

I explained that they would be working together on two vernacular alien images using a modified exquisite corpse drawing method / game. We then looked at a few examples of exquisite corpses.

I promised them that they could make better “vernacular aliens” than some of the exquisite corpse examples. I told them that in the future, when people Googled “vernacular aliens,” their work would be seen.

The Vernacular Aliens Drawing Method

Vernacular Alien World Drawing Championship, Maryland

I divided the room into two teams (Team M.River and Team T.Whid) and selected 3 judges. I selected 2 team captions and had a coin toss to see which team would draw first. Team M.River won the toss and deferred to T.Whid. I explained that the team would need to self-organize into head, shoulders, knees and toes drawing groups and that they would have until the end of one song to complete their Vernacular Alien. I tossed 10 black Sharpies markers down on the paper and hit play on a YouTube video for David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust”.

Team M.River was up next with the same song playing.

After Team M.River finished, we then went to the bonus round. I read a list of ten things a Vernacular Alien might have or see in Salisbury, Maryland (UFO, phaser, death ray, robot dog sidekick, sammy the seagull, the moon, satellites, pizza, salty snacks, the duck decoy museum, and a walkie-talkie). Both teams had one song to fill in the background with these items. I divided the markers (5 per team) and hit play on the YouTube video for Klaatu’s “Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft.”

After that, we hung up the drawings.

Vernacular Alien World Drawing Championship, Maryland

The judging round began with an open pro and con town hall-style review. We then had a vote by show of hands. Team M.River took it with a decisive 3-0 win.

We all clapped and cheered and then ate pizza.

Vernacular Alien World Drawing Championship, Maryland

Every so often, someone would ask what would become of the drawings. I said they would get mailed back to NYC where they would sit in the bottom of a flat file waiting some further use. The images of the drawings and the performance on the other hand will go onto the net and become the objects that define Vernacular Aliens.

More Vernacular Aliens images:
M.River’s Vernacular Aliens Flickr set
Jennifer Poe’s Vernacular Aliens Flickr set

Big MTAA thanks to Preston, Jennifer, Mieke, Dick and the students of Salisbury University. permanent link to this post

MTAA-RR » news » mriver » vernacular alien world drawing championship maryland

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