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  • Shelby Bond

On tour

It's been a whirlwind of work since I've been back in London. First I had a showing/sharing of my work with my classmates and teachers at Central. As we were just in a classroom and not The National Gallery, I had to tape up paintings onto the walls. I posted a temporary media player onto my website that people could use to access the sound files. They wandered around the room randomly.

It lost so much just being little pictures that were taped to the wall. It's SO much more powerful to have the large scale painting and to go from room to room in the grandness of The National. The feedback?

"I was looking for connections between ones on this wall."

"It was too American, I almost had to stop listening."

"What's the story behind why the paintings are doing this?"

"Some had the painting coming to life and some were the painter. Why are they different?"

"Sometimes it felt like you were making fun of the art."

"You need to explain why Americans are doing this."


So that was relatively discouraging. I had always seen this like sketch comedy. Of course there is a similarity on a show like SNL because of the actors and the time it's made in, but they are individual elements. One of the main notes the instructors gave me was that they wanted it to have an explanation. They want the tour guides to explain why this is happening. An example was given of Blast Theory, who designed a shows around the pretext of a burglary. I had thought of this as like the actual audio tours that you get from the museum, that is just a closer look into some of the paintings. But, as a show they want this to have a structure, an explanation that ties them together. So my mind is racing on that. Have the two guides recently unearthed a book of art truths so this is some subversive revelation of the real story of art?


Yesterday I ran a field trip, beta test of the show. When people showed up I gave them a paper that described how to access the sound files. I didn't tell them that there was any order to them or that they even needed to do them all. I was worried because there was only the name of the painting and the room number and I was hoping they didn't get discouraged trying to find pieces.


Turns out they loved the treasure hunt aspect of it and rejected my idea of putting thumbnails to help them find the paintings. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and I've already gotten emails saying that they have been going on about the idea to their friends. They didn't seem to think that it needs an over-arching structure but I think I can find a fun way for Jorjeana and I do be in on it with the listener in a fun way.

Full of laughs post Tour de Farce

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