Lunar Drawing Contests


The Lunar Drawing Contests are an ongoing series of works. So far we’ve done two: Crater Bay Area and Crater New York. Crater Bay Area took place at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art as part of the 01 Festival. Crater New York was realized at Location 1 in Soho New York. With these projects, we’re interested in virtual space, real estate, representation, and competition.

Crater New York installation, contestants in competition

Crater New York installation, contestants in competition

In both Crater contests, we set up 4 drawing stations, 2 analogue (easels with paper and drawing supplies), 2 digital (with computers, monitors, tablets). The drawing stations surrounded a large maquette of the moon that we made in the gallery.

cba-moon

The moon from Crater Bay Area

The public entered the contest by signing up for 30 minute sessions. Contestants could choose their tools for how they would like to draw.

Some chose digital stations.

Contestant competing at the digital drawing station

Contestant competing at the digital drawing station

Others chose to draw their entries using more traditional forms of artmaking.

View of the analogue drawing station in Crater NY

The analogue drawing station in Crater NY

We asked artists to design and build extraterrestrial housing for the moon.

Lunar Thai Chedi by Tony May

Lunar Thai Chedi by Tony May

The contestants’ actions were filmed by surveillance cameras and projected on the walls of the gallery and on a website we launched for the contest.

Contestants projected on the walls of the gallery with close circuit cameras.

Video projected on the walls of the gallery with close circuit cameras.

As we started to accrue contest drawings, these were hung on the walls of the gallery.

And these drawings were uploaded daily to the gallery website on the internet, and to a special Lunar art gallery in Artropolis in the virtual reality world, Second Life.

Contest drawings were displayed in Artropolis in Second Life

Contest drawings were displayed in Artropolis in Second Life

At the conclusion of the contest, jurors selected 10 finalists, and deliberated in public to choose three final winning drawings. The jurors include scientists, critics, curators, poets, video game designers, and computer engineers.

Jurors of Crater New York deciding the winning drawings

Jurors of Crater New York deciding the winning drawings: (l-r) Bob Holman, Nina Felshin, Jimmy Breslin, Karen Helmerson, Roger Anderson

Cathy Kimball, ICA Executive Director, invites the public to the juried selection of the winners from Crater Bay Area

Cathy Kimball, ICA Executive Director, invites the public to the juried selection of the winners from Crater Bay Area

The winners were awarded deeds to land on the moon, from the Lunar Registry.

Crater Bay Area Third Place winners receive their prize

Crater Bay Area Third Place winners receive their prize

The Lunar drawing contests make the, usually, solitary act of drawing into a competitive, public event. Television reality shows were a starting point in the sense that they’re based on competition. The Crater drawing contests are, not only about competition, but about the intersection of real life and virtual reality, about the fiction of real estate in a speculative bubble.