If you venture into New York’s Guggenheim Museum, you’ll find an exhibit by famed abstract expressionist sculptor, John Chamberlain.
What you won’t find, however, is a reinterpretation of the exhibit (which is largely comprised of works from automobile parts) as characters from the popular cartoon series, Transformers. For that, you have to go online – and thank the Audio Tour Hack collective.
Artobots is the latest in a series of Audio Tour Hacks that create unofficial and alternative audio tours, using creative storytelling to re-imagine surroundings. The subject of the hacks can be everything from an art exhibition to a city guide, and they use sound files freely downloadable from the internet to allow easy access on your mobile or listening device.
In this case, the sound file is narrated by a fictional ‘Patricia Redgrave’, who introduces herself as “Senior Professor and expert in the art of The Deceptacon War.” The story begins (with some fantastic 3D sound, for which headphones are recommended) as follows:
Commissioned by Megatron, Leader of the Decepticons, and inspired by the late John Chamberlain,world-renowned American sculptor, this exhibition celebrates the Decepticon’s annihilation of their archenemies, the Autobots, on February 24th, 2028 A.D. Each piece is artfully crafted from the wreckage of the fallen Autobot army. Presented here for the first time at the resplendent Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, one thing is certain… there is more to this exhibition than meets the eye.
The Mastermind behind the collective is Hal Kirkland, Creative Director/Director and part-time guerilla artist. Hal, an Aussie who is now living in New York, worked with a notable group of creatives (including fellow Aussie, Catherine Bolton) to bring the concept to life. Literally. There’s an exceptional level of attention to detail and brilliant storytelling that makes Artobots truly unique – and not worth missing, whether you’re a fan of art, Transformers, or both.
As Mr. Kirkland states,
“Created as a respectful homage to John Chamberlain, the Guggenheim and Transformers, this exhibition utilizes the medium of audio tours to democratize the fine art world. It will encourage art fans to experience an artist they know and love through another lens. It will introduce technology and interactive storytelling to contemporize the museum experience. And it will celebrate a popular culture icon as an art form in its own right, all of which is intended to provide a richer level of engagement for existing audiences and to welcome many more.”
To find out more about the collective and follow their future projects, visit audiotourhack.com. You can download the Artobots sound file from their website here. The exhibit runs at the Solomon R. Guggenheim museum until May 13, 2012.