An art experience

The invitation arrived in the mail complete with a hand-drawn treasure map, terms of engagement, a secret password and ancillary cosmic details. I had not properly met hosts Seth and Steph prior, but we’d been following each other on social media for some time

We were instructed to meet at the location disclosed on the map on the evening of the event. Here we’d find personalized bags with more details and bandanas. We’d also cross path with other folks on the same journey, marveling and wondering what was in store.

Arriving at the final destination we traded our password for a few more items that would make sense as the evening wore on.

One bit that added context to everything was a list by James Talbot, What Makes a Space Magical (below right). To see that list come to life, watch his Creative Mornings talk from the Austin Chapter.

Related link: A look inside James Talbot’s Casa Neverlandia

Diptych with pink piece of paper printed with exciting words and the other half a list of things that make a place magical

Guests gathered in the backyard, decorated with art and projections and lights and tables and refreshments. We mingled for a bit without any clues, but some activities started to emerge.

Art faces in the yard

In one corner sat a large machine with a screen, knobs and an open compartment with shifting lights and a tray of objects. After some experimentation and clues, it was revealed to be quite the AI art exhibit, transforming snapshots into fantastical images based on variables controlled by the knobs.

It was mesmerizing and words can’t do it justice. I want to rent this machine for every get-together.

An AI art machine
Admiring the AI machine

After some mingling and noshing and elbow bending, phases of activity began. I feel like I’m giving too much away (because I hope this event happens again) but suffice to say, the evening was all about celebration and connection.

We were asked to come with an open mind and we left feeling a sense of harmony and that the world was closer in a tangible way.

Steph prepares the group for phase II

I tip my hat to Steph and Seth for this experience and the reminder to take chances, open up, and let some light in.