This past week, I participated in GISHWHES, AKA the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen. Below are some items I worked on that I’m particularly proud of, all of which were done in collaboration with Jess Marcotte and whomever else we could wrangle at the last minute to help us out.
ITEM #50: Virtual reality interfaces are absolutely amazing. The technology is mind-blowing. Using virtual reality and augmented headsets like the Hololens and Oculus, I have stood on the surface of Mars at Jet Propulsion Laboratories and examined the undercarriage of the Mars Rover, been in the eye of a hurricane, and have been attacked by heavily-armed 19th-century militia. It’s mind-blowing. Your task is to create a virtual reality experience totally unlike any VR experience to date. This video will require a super-short, adrenalin-pumping intro-teaser, which will let the viewers know that they are about to experience VR like never before. THEN, abruptly cut to a 360-degree clip of the most mundane activity you can imagine. BORE US TO DEATH.
ITEM #76: Nobody ever talks about the fact that 250 years ago, stormtroopers who had been abandoned on planet Earth were forced to assimilate into pre-Industrial culture. Dramatically re-enact this difficult time. Show a stormtrooper getting back to basics using a spinning wheel, butter churn, or other old-fashioned tool or machine in a rural setting. Feel free to add accessories to the stormtrooper’s outfit to make their assimilation more complete—a Shaker-style hat, a musket slung over the shoulder, etc.
ITEM #98: Your choice! Either a panda made of sanitary pads – a “Padna,” if you will, or a likeness of a totalitarian world leader made entirely of feminine hygiene products. (…yeah, we went for the padna.)
ITEM #103: Everyone thinks Zombies are slow and stupid. This is not at all true! In fact, you recently lost your job to a zombie because they demonstrated a willingness to work long hours without food, sleep, pay, or encouragement. Let’s see the zombie who replaced you at your place of employment, doing whatever you used to do to make a living. The image must show your former boss or coworkers proudly watching the zombie perform your old job better than you used to do.
ITEM #118: Paint a Bob Ross painting. We must see both the painter replicating the Bob Ross painting and the playback of the Bob Ross video the painter is replicating. You must paint in real-time while he is painting. The video should end with a side-by-side comparison of your masterpiece and Bob Ross’s.
ITEM #120: Beauty is on the inside. Photoshop a revised version of your reflection in a mirror. Show us a photo of you standing in front of a mirror. But the reflection we see is what you look like on the inside. Interpret this however you like with the caption on the image: “Beauty is on the inside.”
ITEM #128: At gishwhes headquarters, we do almost everything right, with one glaring exception: we have not yet commissioned a gishwhes theme-song. We need a catchy, 10-second jingle that we can play every time the Slangaroo takes the stage.
ITEM #129: Welcome to Slangatoilegami. You don’t see the phrases “Slangaroo”, “bathroom tissue”, and “origami” together nearly often enough. Let’s fix that.
ITEM #148: Art changes lives. Contribute to the gishwhes art gallery by submitting an image taken by you or of you that captures the notion of identity in the 21st century.
ITEM #158: If there’s one thing all of us over the age of 35 are nostalgic for it’s the rotary dial phone. We pine for that satisfaction of being able to insert our fingers in that hole and spin the dial. Help bring us back to those halcyon days: Make a smart-phone app that interfaces with a real, old-fashioned rotary phone. (Note: this must not be an app that renders a digital simulation of a rotary phone. It must be an app that somehow works in concert with an actual rotary phone.)