This year at the Kentucky State Fair, organizers introduced a new Fine Arts category: “Designweb Interactive Art: Websites, Apps, Media, Games.” Excited at the possibility of participating in an event with as storied a history as the Kentucky State Fair, I decided to submit my oddball interactive control – Centenntable – into the competition.
As a little kid growing up in a semi-rural part of the state, county fairs were an important summer activity and something that I participated in a deeply peripheral way. Hot days in the sun, wandering around raising money for building restorations for an art deco theater, while hoping to stop at a booth that sold fudge or tie-dyed shirts. There were quilt competitions in quiet rooms, where you could see each precise stitch under heavy fluorescent lights, ugly dog competitions on poorly kept church lawns. These competitions, their sweetness and intangibility, are weirdly foundational to who I am as a person — that cultural shit that stays with you even when you’re sure that you’re past it.