A Letter From Shantytown!

January 15th, 2012

Freezing Greetings from the 2011 Art Shanty Projects!

The Neighborhood

This is the first moment I’ve had in six days to pause and document stuff since I landed at MSP last Tuesday and dived immediately to work on our contribution to this biannual festival of art, architecture and strange behavior on frozen Medicine Lake in Plymouth, MN.

Early Recordings

Despite all our long-distance planning we got a severely late start on the actual construction of our shanty. By the time I arrived Brady had organized a workspace, tools, materials and a lovely recycled platform donated by members of the 2010 Vista Shanty team. The two of us worked around the clock for three days straight, and with the aid of some very helpful volunteers our Audio Adventure Shanty just barely squeaked in under the official Friday night deadline for installation on the lake.

Walls, floors, ceilings, oh my.
Deep V
What's pink and starts with V?

By then we were exhausted, sore, sleep-deprived and covered in splinters. Fortunately Kelly Peach arrived Friday night from Santa Cruz to lift our spirits. We stayed up late preparing our audio equipment and attaching the lovely pink headphone cozies that Kelly had been stitching all week.

AA means Audio Adventure
Pink Muffs

Saturday morning we met the public on the lake. We offered them our first of many Audio Adventures: a five minute audio vacation in the sunny Caribbean. It was a big hit, possibly because it was so cold outside.


Our nutty pink tetrahedron felt right at home on this landscape, clustered among so many odd and lovely little shacks, shanties and giant robots.

Fashion Show
Naughty Shanty
Tory with the Sit & Spin Shanty
moar robot

Saturday was exciting, but still very harried and full of first-day stresses, and I admit I neglected to wear enough socks. But today, Sunday, was magnificently sunny and warm. At times, our transparent shanty got sweltering hot. At 1PM we debuted our second audio program: the Dance Mob! A twenty person disco on synchronized headphones.

Dance Mob Attack!

Everything went splendidly. We’re finally starting to settle in and relax. Tomorrow is another day on the ice for us, so come join us if you’re in the area. Ours is only one of two dozen excellent art shanty experiences to choose from. (Also, the ice skating is excellent.)

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