Category_Cartoons, Category_Collecting, Category_Groovy Stuff, Category_Horror, Category_VHS, Category_Weirdness -

Groovy Analog Appreciation invades ArtScape in Baltimore with VHS/VIP!

Just a couple of weekends ago (July 20th-22nd, 2012), I had the extreme pleasure of groovin’ my caboose on down to Baltimore, MD to assemble with the incredible creative cadre that is the nation’s largest free arts festival: ArtScape! I collaborated with local Baltimore filmmaker Chris LaMartina (along with some help from Rob Hatch from 48-Hour Film Fest!) and together we unleashed some unbridled VHS appreciation and celebration on the hundred thousand some-odd folks who dared journey through the sprawling array of installations and creations.

The front of VHS/VIP! Check out those huge VHS covers! Mega-groovy!

Our installation was deemed VHS/VIP. Why? Well, because when you entered our 30 foot storage container turned “your buddy’s bitchin’ basement” you were given some undeniably analog royal treatment: old-school TVs stacked on top of one another, pumping out the weirdest stuff you’ve (n)ever seen, all played back from an army of VHS tapes through one trusty VCR! After you ogled the incredible 9-foot posters of VHS covers adorning the outside walls , you could step inside and sit yourself down among the oodles of pizza boxes, radical horror movie posters and, yes, even an array of leftover snacks and enjoy some video madness! It was our express intention to emulate them good old days of hanging out in your buddy’s basement, ordering a truckload of pizzas and watching stacks VHS tapes till you couldn’t possibly eat another cheese curl! And then doing it anyway!

The view from the table! Some folks reeling in the weirdness and enjoying outer space!

Our trusty VCR hard at work with the funnel cake making a cameo! Funny story: someone actually picked up that three-day-old funnel cake and ate it... and then proceeded to run off with it! Insane!

Custom stenciled pizza boxes made up for the interior. A free pie with every rental? Yes, please!

Running the installation was a complete pleasure and an absolute blast. There was such a vast diversity of people strolling through our little time machine, all of them sharing their own analog memories and adventures as we collectively reminisced about tweaking VCRs, taping flicks off of cable and the beloved video rental store days of yore. Nostalgia was running high, and though some people were a bit confused and saying, “VHS tapes?! They’re still around!”, everyone that entered VHS/VIP was able to steep themselves in one of the most inherent rituals of the video era. And that’s pretty groovy.

Myself and Chris giving some love to one of my personal favorites: THE PIT! I was lucky enough to give this amazing slice of analog art a loving home! Best keepsake of all-time!

And for the Videovores out there who weren’t able to make it down to ArtScape this year, I’ve slapped up a virtual walk-through filmed by Chris LaMartina. VHS was very much alive and rolling at ArtScape 2012, and so was the love. An amazing time, indeed. Until next year, Baltimore: groove on and keep feedin’ that VCR!

Clickity-click the image to take a virtual stroll through VHS/VIP! Dig it!

Josh Schafer

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