Thursday, January 5, 2012

Downtown Lunchbreak: Shrinkwrapped!

One thing I want to do more of in 2012 is use my lunchbreak to explore Downtown Pittsburgh. This will be more difficult to do as the winter months actually take hold (I'm writing this on New Years Day, after a lovely bike ride through 50-degree pleasant weather...), but downtown has galleries, and they are free, and sometimes they allow you to experience the sensation of being shrinkwrapped.

So, it was in the spirit of discovery and pure curiosity that Allie and I went to Wood Street Galleries to check out Parallel Universe. The main draw was the human-sized shrinkwrap machine. When I was in high school, I worked at a Hollywood Video, where one of my favorite tasks was shrinkwrapping the previously viewed VHS tapes for sale. I knew I'd have to experience it for myself, what I had been doing all those years ago.

The video on display kind of freaked us out.

The attendant explained how everything worked and then I stepped inside and he sealed me in. After pressing a button, the air started getting sucked out and I started getting a little claustrophobic. It was definitely a strange feeling, and not one that I was 100% a fan of. After a minute or two of thick plastic sealing itself around my body, I was done and out, and ready to convince Allie to give it a go.

Which she did!

Also on display at Wood Street in the Parallel Universe: this typewriter with little bugs and things crawling on the paper.

And this room, where you sit in a chair, and it's very dark, and you look at your reflection in a mirror right across from you. The mirror starts to vibrate and shake while your reflection starts to make you a little uncomfortable. And then, when you aren't expecting it, the lights flicker and there's NO ONE IN THE CHAIR IN YOUR REFLECTION.

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