The Big Apple Showdown Spectacular

interactive installation and event
dimensions variable

The Big Apple Showdown Spectacular was part of the STATE FAIR exhibition at Socrates Sculpture Park. I produced a series of contests that celebrated everyday city skills and knowledge, including: “The Great Subway Stop-Off”—a spelling bee-type of competition where contestants were asked to name successive train stops to win pre-filled MetroCards—and “The Masters of Multi-Tasking”—a timed contest where park visitors scrambled through an NYC-themed obstacle course while simultaneously talking on a cell phone, drinking coffee, and eating a slice of pizza. Winning contestants were rewarded with ribbons, just like at a state fair.

State fairs are centered on celebrating regional interests.  Fairgrounds are a place where local people congregate to show off, be judged, and have fun.  In addition to the official livestock and agriculture competitions, state fairs typically offer smaller contests that challenge fairgoers in everything from hot dog eating to local trivia.  I wanted to highlight this rural pastime and infuse it with urban content by creating a series of contests based on New York City living habits.