Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Bossy robot sticks


On Sunday, Room 204 of the Gladstone Hotel was furnished only with a red chaise longue, a couple of high stools, and around two dozen Hasbro Torx toys. When I walked in, a handful of people were standing or sitting around the room, holding Torxes close to their ears, intent on trying to follow the instructions the toys barked out. Misha and Margaux looked pleased. Misha's invitation to this event had read, in part:
If you like fun and pleasant times, this might not be for you. But if blind, repetitive obedience to the orders of cheaply made toy robots is your cup of tea, you will not be disappointed!!
The high score so far was 90, which was alarmingly high. I took a stab at contorting a Torx and was unable to break 10.

Most of the others grew bored or frustrated and drifted away, seeking fun and pleasant times, perhaps. Misha closed the door on the melee of Canzine-goers out in the hall, and the room was almost quiet. He, Margaux, Bobbie and I stood gazing at the Torxes scattered about the floor. Each toy would beep softly every few seconds, and the effect was peaceful, like standing in a field of android crickets. "It's so soothing," Margaux yawned, reclining on the chaise longue.

She and Misha decided to turn the Torxes off and go for lunch. They moved around the room, flicking switches; each toy said, "Okay! Some other time, then!" in an identical cheerful, tinny voice. "It would be so great if just one of them said, 'Well, fuck you too,'" I said.

Misha and Margaux left, and soon I did too, leaving Bobbie alone with the Torxes, trying to beat the high score.


More photos here.


Anonymous Liav. said...

Ha! I almost went to this. And I can add you to the list of numerous people I've had gladstone near-misses with that weekend - I was there saturday night at vague terrain. Anyway. Thanks for the photos.


(oh.. ps.. do you like electronic music? You might like vague terrain - really good music and interesting video art. My friend/classmate greg runs it.

11:15 p.m., November 02, 2005  
Blogger IKhider said...

I think one of the best rooms was where you got a belly rub for a measley quarter...and those weird demonic dolls. Actually everything ruled, even the male strippers who danced to Rush.

Ooohh looky, previous post by an techno geek. Neil Wiernik's event...

4:14 p.m., November 04, 2005  

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