FILM-BAR 6 is an immersive, interactive art space built as part of our ongoing film project Open Country. Participants walk into the set, in this case our honky-tonk country music bar and enter into the film itself. Portrait frames on the wall flicker with video interviews with musicians including mountain singer Hazel Dickens, banjo player and folk hero Pete Seeger, British balladeer Billy Bragg and many more. The public can belly up to the bar or grab a chair at a table, read from our “menu” and make selections from the brightly lit jukeboxes to send film clips from Open Country to play on the large screen monitor behind the bar. The bartender, who dispenses either root beer or alcohol, depending on the audience, acts as narrator, occasionally directing the video playing, adding context or history to the clips, or just relaying anecdotal information to build the film world. In this way, the FILM-BAR 6 patrons build the film they want to see, collaborating with other patrons and encouraging discussion and active participation.
FILM-BAR 6 is a mixed-media immersive and interactive installation that investigates the populist roots of country music. It features interviews, archival film, contemporary musicians, animations, photography and collage/montage. It has a strong digital arts component running underneath as our jukebox controls are run by our own software code, web servers, and microprocessors (Raspberry Pi).
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