Friday, March 6, 2015

the institute

I had a trip to Chicago in February. During that trip my friend (the best Brian ever) donated me his old Roku system. 

If you don't know what that is, it's a web-based TV streaming system. Now, I already have the basic services; Netflix, Hulu, Crackle, etc on my Xbox. However, this offers a larger spool to choose from. This is how I was introduced to Tubitv. A free streaming site for TV and movies. Most of the stuff they have is obscure. But, I have watched a lot of great stuff on there.

One of these things was a documentary called, "The Institute". A mind trip documentary about a game-performance-art-puzzle-organization. At first, I thought it was a mockumentary. But it's not. This is a mind-bending documentary that blurs the line between real and fantasy. 

To give you a little more detail. Here is what Wikipedia describes it as:
The Institute is a 2013 documentary film directed by Spencer McCall reconstructing the story of the "Jejune Institute", an alternate reality game set in San Francisco, through interviews with the participants and the creators. The game was produced in 2008 by Oakland-based artist Jeff Hull. Over the course of three years, it enrolled more than 10,000 players who, responding to eccentric flyers plastered all over the city, started the game by receiving their "induction" at the fake headquarters of the Institute, located in an office building in San Francisco's Financial District.


What I liked about it is this; it reminded me of Cicada 3301. Which is another well known alternate reality game. Although, Cicada 3301 is a series of puzzles, cyphers, and hacking feats that require a lot of time and knowledge. They have a similar connection to interacting with the real world and using problem solving skills.

There's a lot of conspiracy theories and hub bub surrounding both of these events. However, I find them to be inspiring and they renew my hope for the creative intelligence of mankind.

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