» Past Programming
The UnConvention

    The UnConventional Gathering Place

    August 31 - November 7, 2008

    The UnConventional Gathering Place is part of The UnConvention, a series of non-partisan programs in art, education and journalism around themes of participatory democracy using participatory media timed during the 2008 Republican National Convention.

    Intermedia Arts transforms itself into a digital information playground of new media installations by national and local artists, online reporting by community and youth journalists, political karaoke evenings, one-mile radius UHF TV station, art exhibits of the people, by the people, for the people and more.
    The UnConvention is organized by a collection of citizens and organizations who come together and create various artistic, educational and journalistic forums to promote the democratic and free exchange of ideas on important issues. It existes as a counterpoint to the highly scripted and predetermined nature of the contemporary presidential nomination process and convention. 

    Landing in America by John O'Brien: A multi-media installation that reflects on the compelling experiences with or related challenges to our basic liberties. It looks at the personal perspectives of those for whom America has served as a refuge from the kind of political exclusion, violence, rage and oppression we fear the most.
    I Approve This Message: You Tube projections of entries are available for viewing. This project, is led by The Uptake and Walker Art Center, invites people to create a video in response to questions surrounding the scripted nature of presidential nominations and democracy in general.
    My Yard Our Message: Selections from My Yard Our Message, this project is conceived by Scott Sayre and produced by the Walker Art Center and mnartists.org in collaboration with The UnConvention.
    New Stations by James Case Leal: Rather than aiming to send people home to watch television in isolation, New Stations creates centers that embody a physical site for both sending and receiving messages together. Part of an ongoing multi-site project series that represents a reinvention of the television medium, this new multi-media installation celebrated these movements serving not only the geography of the local neighborhood, but also this specific time (i.e. the occurrence of the Republican National Convention.) It provides an opportunity for members of the community to invert the media power relationship by putting themselves on the air and celebrating our collective voice.
    Political Science 101: A Crash Course in Civil Discourse on Political Blogs by Fang-Yu Lin
    Are political blogs legitimate? Where does it stand in the tradition of civil discourse as a medium? What is the role that the political bloggers play in this suddenly proliferative forums? A study of blogs as a political medium and an appraisal of its traits and uses, this net art installation scans and monitors hundreds of political blogs for keywords and trends in real-time. The "learnings" are presented using textbook style charts and graphs projected through a hacked slide projector in a simulated classroom setting.

    Peace Puppets: See and hear the stories of peaceful civic engagement as 102 people lay down on the frozen Lake Superior on the first day of the Iraq war. Along with this powerful peace message, a giant peace dove is created with senior residents of Croixdale Bayport hovers over the gallery to remind us of the one important value we are all striving to reach – peace!


    The UnConvention was initiated by Northern Lights, a Twin Cities-based arts agency with support from the McKnight Foundation. Lead partners for the UnConvention were Intermedia Arts and the Walker Art Center. Local participating organizations included among others: Forecast Public Arts, Form + Content, The Liberty Parade, Minneapolis College of Arts and Design, The Minneapolis Foundation, Sandbox Studios, Twin Cities Youth Media Network, Spark24, The UpTake, The University of Minnesota, Weissman Art Museum. National Partners include Creative Time, a New York-based innovative public arts organization, and Provisions Library, a social change learning resource center based in Washington, DC.