I went to Slingapour's on Wall Street Plaza downtown to find out what Ignite Orlando was all about. In the first part of the event speakers were invited to give creative presentations with the limitation being that they had to give the presentation in 5 minutes and the slides would be on a timer and would change automatically. Some of these presentations were quite entertaining and the fast pace kept the evening lively. One presentation I particularly liked was about toys and play. He pointed out that people do not find enough time in their adult lives for play. This may be true for artists as well. I may start a sketch with the most serious of intentions, but it is only when I let loose and just relax and play with the lines and values that things fall into place.
The last speaker was the woman in this sketch named Jessica Mariko. Being the last speaker I realized I had to catch her and fast. She stood before the microphone and I waited for her to start to talk. Instead as music began to play, she slowly rose up on her toes and then broke into dance. The music had a voice over by her describing her creative process, her thoughts about art, thoughts about the need for artistic collaborations, and a lament that many artists do not know how to market their talents. All the while she danced. I sketched her at the beginning of her routine and towards the end. All of her commentary resonated with me and her playful presentation left her and many in the audience breathless at the end.
After the Ignite Orlando event was over, the MP3 Experiment began. Everyone in the bar had an MP3 player and had downloaded an MP3 from the Internet. I had also figured out how to use my wife's MP3 player and had downloaded the file, but I suddenly realized that I had left the MP3 player on my kitchen table next to the users manual. I was forced to observe the experiment as an outsider. In the bar everyone stretched and then began pointing at different places in the bar. All at once they silently walked out into the street toward the park in front of the History Center. When in the park they all hid behind trees. A man ran around dropping packages on the ground and all the while people tried to keep him from seeing them behind the trees. People then opened the packages and handed the items to each other. They began blowing up balloons. On one side of the park they all had red balloons and on the other side blue balloons. Then as in opening scenes of 2001 a Space Odyssey they began violently waving the balloons around and making threatening growls at each other. Suddenly the groups charged at one another and a game of tag began. Those who were tagged fell to the grass. At one point they wandered the field in slow motion acting like zombies or monsters. At the end they all shook hands laughing and exhausted. To tell you the truth I have no idea what it all meant since I still haven't listened to the MP3. The homeless that usually sleep in the park must have been equally baffled.