Provocative Interactive Art Installation Comes to Charlotte’s Mint Museum; EAT’s Consumer Culture Garden Explores the Influence of Consumerism on Aesthetics

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EAT, a collaboration of North Carolina-based artists, will be featuring its interactive installation, the Consumer Culture Garden, as a part of the exhibition Crosscurrents: Art, Craft and Design in North Carolina at the Mint Museum of Craft and Design in Charlotte, Jan. 28 - Aug. 6, 2006. The artists' digital, interactive koi pond explores the relationship of advertising and society through an adeptly executed and well-received, room-sized installation.

EAT, a collaboration of North Carolina-based artists, will be featuring its interactive installation, the Consumer Culture Garden, as a part of the exhibition Crosscurrents: Art, Craft and Design in North Carolina at the Mint Museum of Craft and Design in Charlotte, Jan. 28 - Aug. 6, 2006. Crosscurrents is a joint exhibition between the Mint Museum of Craft and Design and the North Carolina Museum of Art.

The Consumer Culture Garden features an interactive koi pond, where animated fish emblazoned with corporate logos swim in and out of view. A background of natural and unnatural sounds accompanies a sensation of twilight, creating a contemplative, yet unsettling, atmosphere. Sensors throughout the room allow the fish to “perceive” viewers, moving closer and reacting to viewers’ actions.

“It seems the exhibit has a universal appeal – we’ve seen everyone from four year olds to art professors mesmerized by the pond,” said Amanda Robertson, a member of the EAT team. “The beauty and movement of the fish make viewers very accepting of their ads. Hopefully, that experience gets them thinking about how advertising affects us.”

The reaction to the Consumer Culture Garden has been enthusiastic. Ellen Sung, arts writer for the Raleigh News & Observer, named the installation the highlight of the show, calling it “whimsical and unnerving, a meditation on how nature and technology collide in consumer culture.”

About EAT

EAT is a collaboration among five artists and designers who contribute complementary skills: interactive design, animation, graphic design, and sound and environmental engineering. The members of EAT are Pat FitzGerald, Ted FitzGerald, David Millsaps, Dana Raymond and Amanda Robertson. For more information visit the collaboration’s website at http://www.e-a-t.biz.

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Katy Dunn
EAT
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