Monday, November 24, 2008

SWAV on Deutsche Public Television

Last Monday, a production crew for Germany's 3sat public television station flew into a snowy Pittsburgh to cover the Street With A View story. We spent the entire day filming in the museum & around the neighborhood, interviewing Robin and some neighbors who were involved with the project, and testing the merit of our non-skid soles as we scaled the icy roof of the Mattress Factory to get that opening panoramic skyline shot of the STEEL City. The segment ran on the German television show "Neues" yesterday evening. Click the image below to view the entire piece.


Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

Posted by JEFFREY

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

PREDRIVE: Opening Photos

A big THANK YOU to everyone who came out last Friday evening to celebrate the opening of PREDRIVE: After Technology. It was a packed house and a great party. Below are some photos taken throughout the night by John Altdorfer.

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Posted by JEFFREY

Friday, November 14, 2008

PREDRIVE Opens Tonight!

It's been quite some time in the making, but PREDRIVE: After Technology opens tonight with a reception beginning at 8.00PM. I just took a walk down to the 1414 gallery to see how things were coming together. The show is looking really good. I've uploaded some "sneek peek" images from a few pieces below:

Antoine Catala - Are You?
Antoine Catala, Video Still from Are You?, 2008, DVD, 6 minutes 20 seconds

Paper Rad - The Dark Side of Light
Paper Rad, The Dark Side of Light (Detail), Mixed Media

If you are unable to attend the opening, we'll be live/photo blogging and Tweeting in real-time throughout the evening.

Posted by JEFFREY

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Yes Men + PREDRIVE = Slick.

Before you head our way this Friday evening for the PREDRIVE: After Technology opening reception, take some time to check out KEEP IT SLICK: Infiltrating Capitalism with the Yes Men over at The Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University.
  • 5.00PM - 6.00PM: How To Be A Yes Man Workshop at Miller Gallery, 2nd Floor
  • 6.00PM - 8.00PM: Business Casual Reception at Miller Gallery
  • 8.00PM - 10.00PM: PREDRIVE: After Technology Opening Reception at the Mattress Factory

    “The Yes Men are among the most visible and effective activist-artists of our time, reaching countless people through websites, newspapers, and television broadcasts,” says Astria Suparak, curator of KEEP IT SLICK. “Over the past decade they have fearlessly taken on the world’s biggest corporations and bureaucracies. Infiltrating the elite realm of the influential and the moneyed, cloaked in the sheerest layer of authority–thrift-store suits, quick-print business cards, forged press releases–these social activators urge us to question where ethics belong in our capitalist-driven society.”

    Co-organized by the Feldman Gallery at Pacific Northwest College of Art and the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University, “Keep It Slick” exhibits the Yes Men’s practice with elaborate costumes, slapstick videos, outrageous posters, and selections from their personal collection. Though their sociopolitical pranks have been widely publicized, they have never been presented on such a large scale.

  • Monday, November 10, 2008

    QR Codes - Yay or Nay?

    As a marketing/PR professional at an arts non-profit, I'm constantly looking for ways to tailor the MF message so it stands apart the vast information overload we are all bombarded with on a daily basis. This week, for the first time, the Mattress Factory will run an advertisement that features a QR (quick response) Code. An image of the ad (Pittsburgh City Paper - 11/12) is below:

    MF Ad w/ QR Code

    Basically, mobile phone users take a picture of the code with their QR reader-equipped mobile device. The data contained in the code (URL, SMS, etc.) is then read and the specified action is performed by the device. In our case, when someone grabs a photo of our QR Code, they will be directed to a MF URL in their phone's web browser.

    A nice explanation of QR Codes from Wikipedia:
    A QR Code is a matrix code (or two-dimensional bar code) created by Japanese corporation Denso-Wave in 1994. The "QR" is derived from "Quick Response", as the creator intended the code to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed. QR Codes are common in Japan, where they are currently the most popular type of two dimensional codes. Although initially used for tracking parts in vehicle manufacturing, QR Codes are now used in a much broader context, including both commercial tracking applications and convenience-oriented applications aimed at mobile phone users (known as mobile tagging). QR Codes storing addresses and URLs may appear in magazines, on signs, buses, business cards or just about any object that users might need information about. Users with a camera phone equipped with the correct reader software can scan the image of the QR Code causing the phone's browser to launch and redirect to the programmed URL.
    I'm curious to see the traffic stats for this QR'd URL after this ad hits on Wednesday. Obviously, QR Codes do not enjoy the level of popularity here in the states that they currently do in other countries. I'm interested to hear your thoughts about whether or not you think QR Codes have the potential to take-off here in the U.S., where they're still largely an unexplored technology. And do you think it's important, especially for non-profits, to be at the leading edge of these emerging technologies? Feel free to email me, leave a comment here on the blog, or track me down on Twitter.

    Posted by JEFFREY

    Thursday, November 6, 2008

    Street With A View


    This past May, we had the great opportunity to work on a very exciting project with artists Robin Hewlett and Benjamin Kinsley. A few months earlier, the artists approached the the Mattress Factory with a proposal to re-shoot a Pittsburgh street on Google Street View, staging tableaux along the way. Essentially introducing fiction into an otherwise observational platform. Participants would then be able to navigate through the piece, discovering virtual "Easter eggs" as they explore.

    Obviously, we felt the idea was amazing and we were excited to offer any assistance we could provide. But would Google feel the same way? We all were amazed the answer was, "Yes."

    So with Google's blessing, we began planning the event. Ben and Robin felt Sampsonia Way, here on Pittsburgh's North Side, was the perfect street because of the one-way traffic flow and adjacent garages perfect for embedding hidden scenes. They spent a lot of time meeting with us and our North Side neighbors, many of whom you can see in the final piece embedded above.

    Below is a short video documenting the making of Street With A View:

    For more information on the project, please visit

    Posted by JEFFREY

    Wednesday, November 5, 2008

    UPDATE - Project Announcement Via Twitter

    A few weeks ago, I posted about the Mattress Factory making a special project announcement via Twitter. We were hoping to announce the details in mid-October, but we were unfortunately unable to for a number of reasons. All apologies for the cruel tease.

    I'm happy to report that we'll be making the announcement tomorrow morning, November 6, at 10.00AM EST. If you'd like to be among the first to know about (hint: play with) this exciting project, make sure you follow us on Twitter.

    What is Twitter? Check out this informative video:

    Posted by JEFFREY

    Monday, November 3, 2008

    Erin's First Blog Post

    Hi there. My name is Erin and this is my very first blog post! I'm the shop coordinator here at the Mattress Factory and I'll be posting regularly about cool new items we receive in the shop and special discounts exclusively for our online friends, among other things.
    I don't know about you, but I absolutely love the holiday shopping season! Finding perfect and unique gifts for everyone on my list and watching their reaction when they open them are the highlights of my holiday. From now until the end of December, the MF Shop is featuring 20 fantastic items all under $20. Our list includes Mattress Factory items such as our Art You Can Get Into Panties (pictured to the left) and Ceramic Coffee Mug (pictured below), as well as other unique items including a Disappearing Civil Liberties Mug and Kikkerland Wind Up Toys.
    The best part about the MF Shop is that all museum store purchases help the Mattress Factory provide artists in residence with unparalleled support in creating new installations at the museum. So proceeds from the MF Shop go directly to the art. Thank you in advance for helping to support our mission!
    Posted by ERIN