[I don't know why this didn't show up for a month. Some screwing around with Blogger fixed it though. Except almost all the photos are gone. I can't seem to fix that. I'll certainly post them if I can.]
For the first time since March, a second post during the same month. Wow, I need to update more often. I'm getting along with the webcomic I've been working on, I should be ready to post the first batch of pages in a month or so. I'll link to it when it's ready.
But, in more important news, yesterday I was the competitor in IRON ARTIST 2008! This, my friends, is one extremely insane Portland contest. It's funded by SCRAP, a local reuse and recycling center, and basically the goal is to create (with your team of 5-10 others) a sculpture, based around a certain theme, in four hours. This year the theme was alchemy. Your materials are random pieces of used junk (they try to give each team similar items) like bicycle wheels, computer parts, several hundred yards of ribbon, etc. You don't get to hear the theme until 20 seconds before the contest starts, and you can't look at your materials until it starts, so there's really no way to plan ahead. It's on the spot creativity, so there's a lot of spontaneity.
Once the competition gets going, it's basically a no-holds-barred rush to make the most awesome sculpture. The patrolling referees, dressed in a bizarre mix of completely random black and white clothing, will give teams demerits for anything from too many people working at once to ugly usage of pom-poms. At the same time, teams can earn extra points by bribing the judges in various ways, and it's perfectly legal to cheat--if you can get away with it. At one point, the refs caught us with our entire team working on the sculpture at once, and we all had to go in the "Penalty Box", essentially a giant cage with ribbon wrapped around it. We had to moonwalk to get out. O_O
Admittedly, I wasn't too happy with the outcome. We came dead last. Yes, it's true, out of eight teams, we got the least votes for our sculpture(see above pic). Frankly, I think it was pretty ugly too. Someone had suggested we mosaic the base, which took way too long and ended up looking like crap. Not very alchemical either. If we'd had more time, we could have worked harder on the more kinetic elements of the sculpture and actually GOTTEN THE DAMN WHEELS TO TURN. Oh well. We still won the award for "Best Collaboration", whatever that means, and I had a hell of a lot of fun anyway. I'm going to do it again next year if I can! Woot!