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My Dinner with Andy is a video-narrative immersive experience told through publicly-available crowd-sourced videos from YouTube. It represents an intimate dinner party featuring the edited likeness of:

Hosted by ANDY COHEN

Participants are invited to book a 1-hour reservation for breakfast, lunch, or dinner over the 1-week installation on google docs. They can BYOB (B = bagged lunch) or order delivery (anything imaginable via from the project homepage. The installation is a dinner party, as told in three acts: appetizer, entree, and dessert. The table must be reserved by individuals.

The video accompaniment to the meal lasts approximately 40 minutes and starts 10 minutes past every hour, with time between participants to clean up or talk about the experience, leave feedback, join the discussion online, or in person in the gallery.

The audience: the meal takes place in a glass room gallery and participants become part of the narrative. Prompts leave gaps in the dialogue for the participant to weigh in on subjects like marriage equality in New York, war, and classicism. There will be a microphone in front of the participant’s meal. Although the video narrative is set, the participant can affect the performance through his/her participation or lack thereof. There are a few interactive surprises in store.

Participants are encouraged to eat, talk, and be entertained over the course of the meal, but their performance is up to them and spontaneously generated. The installation is a prototype for a completely interactive virtual reality. For this piece, participants are encouraged to suspend disbelief and interact with the screen characters as if they were the real people they represent.

This meal represents a tool for lonely people, entertainment that mimics reality and closeness with any famous person imaginable. “Just a movie” that encourages participation and performance. Dave Carroll told me that if I didn’t like the conversations that were occurring online, to create my own dialogue. I am hoping that by mashing up these different video shorts and blips and images and animations, I can attempt to create my own reality and dialogue.

“If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would it be?” These are my three people, an artist, a deity, and a television producer. The options are limitless, and readily available on YouTube for future projects and iterations.

Although SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) would have you believe this digital content is sacred intellectual property, and I agree that citing sources is paramount, by manipulating and mashing up the YouTube videos I have created a totally unique experience. SOPA will cripple the internet and artistic license. Piracy is not theft, as there is no damage or loss to the original artifacts in this case. Everything I have created is with total respect and homage to the original people and events that I am attempting to represent in the installation. My piece is pro- innovation and free speech.

About the author and his bias. The characters represented in this production are filtered through YouTube first and then my editing of an imaginary dialogue. I am gay, Jewish, and a student studying Design & Technology. Fascinated by art stars, reality television, celebrities, contact, crowd-sourcing, video, design, and technology, so my version of Jesus, benevolent and philosophical, may be different from your version of Jesus (and that is okay.)