Art of the Matter: Five Shades of Geek

On Thursday I went to Geek’s Night Out 2013 just off Mill Ave. in Tempe, and I must say I was kind of underwhelmed.

I made it out to the event around 8:00 (it ran from 5 until 10 p.m.) and I was surprised to find many of the booths gone or packing up! However, of the booths that were left, I was really impressed with a few.

A hugely impressive Dr. Who themed chalk mural. Photo by Alexandria Conrad

A hugely impressive Dr. Who themed chalk mural. Photo by Alexandria Conrad

The first “booth” I visited was a full size TARDIS replica and current Dr. Who look-alike, put on the corner of Mill Ave. and Sixth St. to draw attention to the event.  The replica was built by Duncan Macleod who originally made it for BBC’s “Where’s the TARDIS” contest, and now takes his replica to various other events.

“It’s a phone booth, right?” –An oh-so-ignorant bystander. Photo by Alexandria Conrad

“It’s a phone booth, right?” –An oh-so-ignorant bystander. Photo by Alexandria Conrad

On the same corner, Resident Evil Cosplay Group stood in full military garb complete with crazy weapons I don’t know the name of. When I talked to some of the members of this group, I was surprised to find out that a nonprofit Resident Evil Cosplay Group would donate to such a charity as an Arizona no-kill animal shelter.

Resident Evil Cosplay Group using their weaponry to contain the plaid-thirsty hipsters within Urban Outfitters. Photo by Alexandria Conrad

Resident Evil Cosplay Group using their weaponry to contain the plaid-thirsty hipsters within Urban Outfitters. Photo by Alexandria Conrad

After that, I visited Greathouse Labs’ booth. I was drawn to them for two reasons: their radioactive missile model that doubles as a functioning barbecue, and their awesomely designed wheelchair/scooter contraption. Representatives at the booth told me that was the goal of the organization is to make “pimped out” wheelchairs and scooters for those who need them.

Next booth was the University of Advanced Technology’s UltraSketch, which basically looked like a big Etch-A-Sketch with various activities to do on the screen. When I walked up, two people were standing at either knob and playing the classic game of pong. It looked fun and I was jealous.

Lucky participants trying out UAT’s UltraSketch. Photo by Alexandria Conrad

Lucky participants trying out UAT’s UltraSketch. Photo by Alexandria Conrad

The last person I visited was an artist names Spencer Brinkerhoff III. I came very close to walking right past Spencer’s booth, but what caught my eye was a satirical poster of Fezzik’s (Andre the Giant’s character in Princess Bride) cancelled wrestling act. I talked to him for a bit about the poster before he showed me the Light Sticks he had for sale. Spencer sells these small fluorescent tubes that, when held in front of a camera flash, will make it look like you are holding a light saber or shooting lasers. I don’t think you can understand how tempting it was for me to buy one in every single color.

Spencer Brinkerhoff III proudly presenting his clever artwork. Photo by Alexandria Conrad

Spencer Brinkerhoff III proudly presenting his clever artwork. Photo by Alexandria Conrad

Alas, I guess Geek’s Night Out wasn’t a total bust. I got to talk to some very interesting characters while perusing the various nerdy booths.

This event takes place every year, so if you missed it this time around, there will be plenty of other geek-related events to tide you over until next year, so don’t worry.

Bonus: AZ Ghostbusters were also in attendance, in full costume of course!

 

If you’d like to reach me with comments, concerns or suggestions, you can email me at anconrad13@gmail.com or tweet me at @alliectersely