Tonight I went to The Walker Art Center to view MN Architecture’s Videotect Awards. Last week, a friend of mine sent me a link to the Videotect awards and said “you in?” and of course my initial reaction (as it is to most things in life): “definitely.” I had very little background on what Videotect was other than the fact that it was related to architecture, art, videos, Minneapolis skyways and was playing fo free at The Walker. Doesn’t take much to convince me right?
The Walker Art Center
Anyway, thanks to Target, every Thursday, admission is FREE at The Walker (Hence the “Target Free Thursdays”). Good job Target, you really hit that one on the bulls-eye
So tonight (for zero $$), I went to The Walker (conveniently only 4 blocks away from my new apartment!), met some cool people, and was introduced to the concept of Videotect: the first annual “Video Competition Exploring the Built Environment.” This year’s topic was “The Skyway and its Impact on Urban Life.”
Hosted by MN Architecture (a magazine for design/architecture junkies that now suddenly appeals to me), the Videotect contest inspired 24 individuals/groups to produce video commentaries on the Minneapolis (and St. Paul) skyway system. The result was awesomeness!
Up until recently (before I started my job at Campbell Mithun and became a member of the downtown workforce), I had no idea how extensive, convenient, crowded and exciting, yet sometimes confusing, mindless and suffocating the skyway system was. Within the first few days of my job (which I’m loving by the way), I learned a lot about how to navigate the downtown Minneapolis grid without stepping foot outside into the frigid tundra that is Minnesota, avoided traffic, saw friends and co-workers, and learned about a lot of yummy lunch options – all via “the magical skyway.” I definitely got lost a lot in the beginning. There are 8 miles of Minneapolis skyway (that’s more than twice around Lake Calhoun! that’s 80 blocks. 80!), so you can see how it might get a little confusing if you aren’t familiar with the buildings. Eventually though, I got my bearings and perfected several routes to frequent locations (echem, Len) and befriended the skyways as a blissful escape from the harsh elements (ie: MN sleet, ice, snow, and temperatures so cold that I would tear up – and then, said tears would freeze to my face).
Well, now almost April (only a couple hours away!), the temperatures have risen, the snow is alllllmost gone, and I still resort to the skyways out of instinct. It is terrible. I have to be told, asked or reminded to walk outside which is often a much faster, more direct route anyway. Even if it is a bit nippy out, it is refreshing to breathe real air. It is healthy to see the sunlight during the day. It is necessary to step outside. I am an outdoorsy girl. I love the environment around me and I can’t wait (CAN’T WAIT – that’s me shouting in case you didn’t know) for spring/summer.
The spring and summer months are when Minnesotans exit hibernation. It’s a wonderful (yet short) period of time that produces a vibrant, run-around-the-lakes, go to your cabin and ride boooooooats, have bonfires, and enjoy rooftop bars type of culture.
Do our skyways/winter lifestyles kill vibrancy? Or do they provide convenience and allow people the option to venture beyond their downtown tower to converse with others and spend $$$? That, along with some other questions I had’t considered, were addressed in the videos of Videotect.
After a warm, energizing and thought-provoking introduction from Mayor R.T. Rybak, the audience enjoyed some funny, 3-D, heartwarming, weird, interesting, and just down right cool videos. (All 24 video submissions were posted online for a month prior to tonight’s event. The top 5 rated videos were presented at The Walker as well as other “jury selected” entries).
Of the videos I saw tonight, these were my favs:
Lindau: A 3-D rap battle (This is where the line “Don’t be a hampster, be be a man” comes from)
Tucker: A Hilarious Parity (An “Urban Mysteries” look at the origins of skyways)
Siemers: A Heartwarming Depiction (This little girl was at The Walker tonight – she is so adorable! But before the showing, I was thought to myself, “what is this little girl doing here? She has such a sophisticated social life for a 3 year-old” Ha, it all became clear… )
Now, I want to spend some time investigating the other entries here!
- Thursdays are awesome.
- Art rocks.
- Skyways are awesome, but I believe the ol’ “everything in moderation” rule should apply in some capacity.