Steel Rails 2014 & The Creepy Cloud

Installation created by Agnes Niewiadomski and Jen van Overbeeke


Here are some shots of our final installation from Steel Rails Sessions 2014. For those who don't know what that is, in short, it is an art party on a moving train.There are interesting/strange installations and activities happening in each train car for attendees to interact and experience, all the while enjoying a few (or more) beverages. We ride the train from Waterloo Central Station, get off at the shop in St. Jacob's and for an hour to enjoy some entertainment and food. Then everyone gets back on a the train which takes us back to the station in Waterloo.

Steel Rails 2014-13.jpg

I was so pleased with how our part came together. Jen van Overbeeke and I teamed up to create a paper-based installation for the train. We were given the theme of "The Other Side of the Internet" we started with the idea of a paper cloud...and then thought about all the things in the "Internet cloud". That's when we decided we would try to be creepy.

With the help of a couple Silhouette paper cutting machines, we managed to cut out and string up 130 names (the names of people who bought tickets) into paper banners that were then integrated into our paper/balloon cloud installation inside the train car. To up the "creepy side of the Internet factor", I spent hours creeping all sorts of social media sites such as Facebook, Linked In and Twitter to collect as much data as possible...everything was gleaned from just knowing their name. All of these "bits" of information were then printed, cut out and added to the cloud.We loved hearing people's reactions to finding themselves in the cloud- lots of shock and confusion. An interesting occurrence for me that night was recognizing so many faces of people I have never actually met before.

In addition to the giant paper cloud, Jen and I ran a "Party Animal Mask" craft that evening. Jen ingeniously created the digital pattern to cut 4 adorable Internet meme animal heads: Grumpy Cat, a horse head, which also turned into a unicorn, and finally a narwhal. We had line ups out the door, and were steadily cutting out requests all night with a trusty Silhoutte machine, in what was the hottest train car (our windows did not open!). Attendees then assembled them using nothing more than staples and elastic band. People were still wearing them at the after party which really made me glad. A definite success!

We certainly had a blast and are looking forward to more crazy and awesome crafting events in the future!

Big shout out to Jen's bf Chris who was a huge help in the installation/prep work! And to the many SRS volunteers who helped us get everything up in time! Looking forward to SRS 2015.

A couple links for more Steel Rails coverage: