Thursday, May 5

Day One

The Scav Sheriff debate was amazing. That is all. Click for more photos.

As Ezra mentioned, my coloring contest item was a bit misleading as written:

39. Bring your CrayolasTM for a coloring contest. We'll expect realism, so you'd better bring lots of colors and know them well. Meet on Thursday in Hutch—we'll be starting at 5:30 p.m. to catch the best late-afternoon light. [20 points]

When I met the scavvies (nine competitors, and about two dozen more boosters), I laid out the goals—color in three innocuous drawings, and then copy a painting freehand in crayon in an hour, with an emphasis on color fidelity—and then took them to the CW office downstairs.

The misleading bit was that line about the "late-afternoon light." The light we used was, in fact, a low-pressure sodium bulb. These lamps are used as streetlights here and there, though nowhere nearby recently. Their energy efficiency (the highest brightness per watt of any commercially available technology) is usually outweighed by their problematic spectrum. Unlike most light sources, these bulbs emit all of their light at exactly one wavelength, a pure yellow-orange.

The result? You see everything in monochrome.

I owe Olafur Eliasson a huge hat tip—he lit the entrance to his SFMOMA show in these lights a few years ago (and I hear he used them to awesome effect at The Tate), and the effect that I discovered there and borrowed here is delightfully surreal. Vision is a huge part of human perception, and until you experience it, it's not easy to tease color apart from the rest of vision.

The event was a lot of fun, and some of the Starry Nights were good enough to deserve their own post when I track down a scanner. Many thanks to those who came out.

For most of us on this side, the bulk of the work is largely either done or just over the horizon at this point in the hunt. It's strange going through a day of Scav without a feeling of looming, manic urgency, and I miss it. Things will get busier, but I still ate and slept and showered and went to classes and exhaled once in a while, and hardly missed a thing.

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