In Feburary of 2019 I was chosen for the Derek Lieu Residency at Hole in the Sky Collective. The focus of my residency was to create an interactive installation show, FUNLAND. FUNLAND combined the fun of a boardwalk midway with the trials and tribulations of being an artist. FUNLAND operated for one night only on Saturday, May 18, 2019 and attracted over 250 guests.
Food at FUNLAND was by Milk Cult, who made funnel cakes and ice cream. FUNLAND was also co-produced with Sean Paul Ellis and Melanie Harker. Rather than having a DJ, Sean and I recorded a Nighttime Beach Radio show featuring local DC-area musicians, talk segments, and hilarious commercials.
Interested in having me design an event like FUNLAND for you? Contact me.
FUNLAND was comprised of these attractions and games:
I became THE FOUNDER for the night at FUNLAND. Inspired by creative tyrants like Walt Disney, I held court as THE FOUNDER throughout the night. I made speeches, greeted my public, and let people light candles in my honor.
The Inner Demons Shooting Gallery
An indoor BB gun range where attendees created their own targets with a personal inner demon and blasted it back to hell.
The Rejection Letter Shred Zone
Attendees got their revenge against organizations who rejected real artists who sent in real rejection letters. Names of both artists and organizations were heavily redacted.
Zultar and Zultara, Your Concerned Fortune-Telling Parents
A fortune-telling Mom and Dad who just want you to do something profitable with your life!
The Hallway of Tragic Artists
Inspired by the Hall of Presidents at Disney World, actors portrayed Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Zelda Fitzgerald. The Tragic Artists interacted with people in character all night, and performed a signature monologue and other happenings throughout the evening.
The Prize Counter
Attendees earned tickets at every attraction, but it was physically impossible for anyone to earn enough tickets to buy their parents’ love or critical acclaim. They could “afford” spider rings, sticky hands, vampire teeth, and slap bracelets, though. Attendees could also spend real money for merchandise at the Prize Counter, such as t-shirts and original artwork.
The (Predatory) Duck Game
(Predatory) Duck Game was the only FUNLAND attraction with an additional cost. With that fee, attendees got one shot to pick a winning duck or sea creature. If they won, they got a fabulous prize such as scotch, steak knives, or a DVD of Bad Boys 2. Why is it predatory? Because too many art shows lure in unsuspecting artists to their shows with the promise of many sales, but the harsh reality is that many artists never recoup the high fees it takes to enter these shows.
The Your Payment is Exposure Summer Sun Lamp Photo Zone
All too often, artists are compensated in “exposure” rather than people buying their work. This photo attraction let everyone at FUNLAND experience that feeling for themselves.
FUNLAND was being produced in collaboration with Sean Paul Ellis, Melanie Harker, and Hole in the Sky Collective and its members. FUNLAND was made possible financially by Hole in the Sky Collective, a grant from the Awesome Foundation, and my 2018 tax return. Artist & Craftsman Supply made a generous donation of gift bags for our games.