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Best local trend in the arts: Immersive art exhibits

Staff Pick

A subconscious tendency emerged among a handful of artists, gallerists, and curators this year for producing immersive art exhibits. In particular, shows at Get This! and Beep Beep galleries, and another by Dashboard Co-op in a vacant Summerhill bungalow, looked to installations to transform familiar spaces into moody set pieces. Ben Roosevelt's The Blue Flame, a physical manifestation of a dream Roosevelt had about Iggy Pop, Samuel Coleridge, Dante, and conceptual artist Joseph Beuys, converted Get This! Gallery into a faux dive bar reminiscent of the one in "Twin Peaks," complete with wood paneling and live karaoke. At Beep Beep Gallery, Jason Kofke and Chris Chambers collaborated on The Ends, an ode to the analog, the transience of technology, and the fear mongering that pervades our collective modern psyche. An '80s-era Pontiac Fiero was wedged into the small gallery space and surrounded with digital ephemera (old MacBooks, a video yearbook) and references to 1986's Challenger shuttle disaster. Dashboard Co-op curated Nathan Sharratt's Come. Inside Me., a compelling performance-based installation about family, home, sense memory, and the circle of life. In all three cases, the risk-taking paid off to create some of the year's most spectacular and transportive experiences.

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