Modular Art Pods (MAPs) is an open-source, collaborative art tunnel. Artists build pods, we connect them all together, and people crawl through. Learn more on our “About” page.
ANYONE, ANYWHERE can host their own MAPs show as well as remix, transform, and build upon the idea. The concept is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike.
Would you like to host your own? Here’s how:
First, read the Pod Rules and Pod Building Guides. Check out the media from our previous shows to get an idea of the possibilities.
We ask that you:
- Give appropriate credit and provide a link to the original project (ModularArtPods.com). A suitable credit would be something like, “Modular Art Pods was originally conceived by Tony Youngblood in Nashville, Tennessee, USA and is licensed under Creative Commons Share Alike. Anyone can host an event.”
- Before anything else, send an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, letting us know that you’d like to host a MAPs. We will do our best to assist in whatever way we can.
- Bill the event as Modular Art Pods with a header or subheader that distinguishes the group hosting the show. We don’t want people to confuse the event with events hosted by other groups. For example: “Queen Ave presents Modular Art Pods.” Or: “Modular Art Pods curated by John Doe.”
- Announce the event on ModularArtPods.com. We’ll give you blog posting privileges, or if you prefer, we’ll post on your behalf. Of course, in addition to the post here, you can also post on your own blog and social media accounts.
- Take lots of pictures and video. Post the media on ModularArtPods.com.
- Share your hosting experiences with us. We’d love to know what worked and what didn’t.
Tips & Tricks:
- We find that it’s best to allow at least one month for Call for Artists, one to two weeks for selection process, and at least four months of build time. Six months is even better.
- Avoid scheduling your MAPs within six months of other MAPs happening in your city. Vet the date before you lock it down.
- Measure the venue dimensions, taking precise measurements of room length, width, height, door locations, and location of any obstacles such as support beams. This is absolutely vital and can’t be skipped.
- Use those measurements to map out possible tunnel configurations. Provide at least 5′ clearance around the perimeter so there is enough room for wheelchair access for those taking the backlot tour. If you anticipate use of projectors, provide enough room around those pods for throw length. It’s ok if the final configuration differs from your original sketch, but the sketch is invaluable in the planning process.
- Provide tunnel breaks/emergency exits. In the inaugural MAPs, we didn’t provide enough exits, resulting in artists having to crawl through half the tunnel to get to their pod. Also, crawlers couldn’t leave early or go around congested areas. A better method is to plan your tunnel in “levels” comprised of 4 to 6 pods each with 8 to 12 feet of open space between sections. This way, attendees can go through the levels in any order, reducing congestion. You can even give levels individual themes.
- When you announce your Call for Artists, provide the applicants links to the Pod Rules and Pod Building Guides. If you have any specific house rules that our rules don’t cover, provide an addendum.
- Enforce the minimum door size. Crawlers should know that if they can get through the first pod, they can get through the whole tunnel.
- Enforce backlot tour involvement. Put yourself in the perspective of a disabled backlot tourer. Make sure the experience will be fun for disabled guests by asking your artists to provide inside/out interactivity, peepholes, “making-of” or “artist statement” sheets on the pod’s outside walls, etc. Since not everyone will be able to crawl through, accessibility in the backlot tour should be a primary goal.
- Comfy floors. The inaugural MAPs was on hardwood floors, and the crawlers’ knees paid the price. Require pods to have comfy flooring, such as foam or carpet. Either that or provide kneepads.
- In the application, ask if they prefer a straight pod or a corner pod. Ask if they want a 4’x4′ pod, an 8’x8′ pod, or a custom size. Ask about lighting, sound levels, pod height, anything that will help you decide where to place their pod.
- Figure out how bright you want the room to be. If anyone is using projectors, the room will need to be fairly dim. Let the applicants know the lighting situation in advance so they can plan to light the inside and outside of their pod accordingly.
- Keep it personal. Rather than sending mass e-mails to all the applicants, send individual correspondence, even if the contents are mostly copy/pasted. People tend to respond in higher numbers when you speak to them one on one.
- Tell the artists how many of their outside walls are exposed and how many are facing other pods. In the inaugural run, we had an artist paint pictures on all the outside walls, only to have two of his four walls covered up by other pods.
- Schedule setup in waves. Have a look at your floor map and think about the easiest order to set up. (Front to back, back to front, center to perimeters, etc.)
- Before setup, use gaffers tape to map out the pod locations. To save on tape, you can just mark the corners. Place a printout of the pod number or name inside the boundary.