Saturday Morning “ArtDate”: Automatons at Visual Space Gallery


Good morning blog followers! I hope you’ve finished your run down Yuppy Lane, have changed out of your sweaty yoga pants into your Lululemon yoga pants, have your vanilla, soy, half sweet, double double thingy from Starbucks in hand because this is your first Saturday morning ArtDate – update, but about art, so … “ArtDate” (insert applause here).

A couple of weeks ago I received an invitation from David Dumbrell to his art show and opening at the Visual Space Gallery. I had just met David a few days before when he came up to the Vancouver International Airport to help us install one of his automatons in an art case. The final display consisted of a mechanical man on a bike with a hot air balloon hovering above him. The entire setup had to be plugged in and a sensor placed on the glass so eager little hands could trigger the little man to pedal the bike over and over (poor thing).


Now, for those of you who don’t know (and I can enlighten you as of last month), here is the definition of Automaton, ripped straight off of David’s website:

Au∙tom∙a∙ton {ô ’ tämә , tän} noun. A moving mechanical device made in imitation of a human being, which performs a function according to a predetermined set of coded instructions. plural: Automata

Fascinating right? Now, my comments section below is going to fill up in seconds with all of you telling me you already knew that. Well, lucky for me this isn’t your blog, this is mine, so I get to pretend you know as little as me. So Automatons … cool, right?

I was running late, which is so uncommon I feel it’s worth mentioning, and thought I may arrive just in time for the gallery doors to be pushed closed, perhaps a stern looking doorman in a tuxedo saying, “I’m sorry ma’am, we are closed”. But wait, this is Vancouver. We’re not very big on doormen and not too particular on punctuality. To my delight I walked through the doors five minutes after the opening was supposed to end and coincidentally, at the height of the party.

Long story short, David is a stand up guy, his show was fun, the people were, well, they seemed mostly the art-loving types, which is what you want at an art show and the automatons were crazy fun. Rather than go on and on about them while you’re trying to enjoy your thingamajig from Starbucks, go ahead and check out the photos and videos I took at the show. Maybe even get out to Visual Space Gallery before February 26th to see them for yourself. It’s not a whole lotta time, but if you miss that, here is what I’m going to next:

Group Show – It Is What It Is

Tonight from 9pm – 12am (I think that means it’s a party) check out a group show at El Kartel. What? A clothing store? That’s what I thought. I have no idea either, but maybe I’ll see you there and we can act weird and awkward together.

So, happy Saturday morning loves! Enjoy that $7 drink from Starbucks and remember to follow my blog HERE … Cheerio 🙂

A piece by Priscilla Yu, one of the artists in the show




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