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The Seattle Sketcher

An illustrated journal of life in the Puget Sound region by Times artist Gabriel Campanario.

August 12, 2009 at 9:57 PM

Art in the parks sparks some thoughts

badreception081009m.jpgAug. 10, 1:22 p.m. [View larger] [Sketch location]
I appreciate anything that will slow my pace as I walk around this city. Striking architecture or a peek of the Sound will certainly keep me from jaywalking. Or an art installation like A. K. Allin‘s “Bad Reception,” which took place at Westlake Park on Monday.
Surrounded by 30 antennas, two transceivers, a satellite dish and two radios, avant-garde musician-composer Andrew Stauffer played his guitar but you couldn’t hear a thing. And that was the point. Allin said she’s fond of provoking people to respond and hoped the installation would make passersby reflect on what reception means. “Imagine suddenly getting good reception after a lifetime of bad reception,” read one of the bright colored pieces of paper attached to the ensemble of transmission devices she had gotten at Goodwill.
The installation was part of artSparks, a series of art performances through October at three landmark parks –Westlake, Victor Steinbrueck and Occidental– which aims to inject a dose of artistic energy to downtown life. “It’s what I call art in progress,” said Ingrid Lahti, one of the program curators. “You can see artists making art in these special parks. You can be part of it and ask artists questions,” Lahti said.

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