One word to describe this year’s 4th year META show was UNDERWHELMING. We get this stigma how META is the biggest and most important show for our program, but some of the pieces I saw was just disappointing and insulting in a way. I feel like you were given a year to show the best work you have ever created, you better show something with amazing construction, originality and functions flawlessly. Let’s be honest, the opening is the most important day of any show because that’s when most people show up. So if your piece doesn’t work, people are most likely not going to re-visit the exhibition again thus forever remember your piece as the one that didn’t work. Not only is that shameful for the artist, but also insulting to the profs that has drilled the importance of ‘make sure it works!’ into our heads the 4 years we studied there.
It’s really shocking to me that some of these pieces were jury approved. The loop video with the girl’s face projected onto a wall was so mundane, done before and easy to make. The rain piece beside it with the Kinect and projection is basically a direct copy of Camile Utterback’s Text Rain (the artist even listed it as one of the inspirations). The male and female imprints that filled up when people pressed buttons stops working when it fills up, so it should’ve been reset itself when it reaches maximum capacity. The white paper projection sculpture that hovered above was beautiful and probably the best piece of the show, it should’ve been placed at the front. But instead, we got carts that didn’t work to welcome us at the entrance. I had no idea that this piece had anything to do with sound because you couldn’t hear any of the sounds the piece was suppose to make. The artists should’ve anticipated the noise level of the opening to make sure that their piece stood out. It was basically the opening piece that people saw first when they walked in, so it was embarrassing to see all the confused faces staring down at the frozen cars not doing anything. The WTF piece was really WTF. The automated drawing machine was one of the better pieces but was hidden at the little corner at the back. The sound-making buttons beside the WTF piece didn’t work. The medical hearing devices piece at the back was interesting, but does not accommodate people of all heights (should have had a wooden step or something). The game beside it was basically a personality test, and the graphics was alright but not spectacular. The piece beside that was not working. Moving onto the next room, the moving dress was beautiful and actually worked. It stood out and people understood the interaction. The wooden pier was poorly designed because many people stepped on it when you’re suppose to touch it with your hands. The computer orchestra at the very left was cool but it wasn’t loud enough to hear the significant changes according to the hand motions. Only other thing I remember from this room was the guestbook which should’ve been at the entrance/exit area. The womb room was really black cloths covering the entire space and a soundtrack of a womb. The artist who did the clubbing photos that was hung on the wall of the staircase heading up to the roof should be pissed because it was basically shunned from the rest of the show, like there was no space for it so you can sit outside. If I forgot any pieces, that’s because they weren’t very memorable.
Everything felt cramped. I didn’t understand why there was 2 sofas that took up a lot of space when it could’ve been used to spread the pieces out, giving it more room to breathe.
Nothing against the artists, but it was really an underwhelming show with a lot of pieces that lacked the conceptual and execution quality to be there. People who went to last year’s META said this year was a lot better so I’m glad I didn’t go to last years. I just hope and pray that next year when we have our META that it would not turn out to be such a mess. But if I was an artist or on the curator team, I sure as hell won’t let that happen if I’m putting my name on it in the list.