Installation Nation: various artists 

Northwest corner of College and E. Michigan

2 stars

You didn't need a passport to get to the second annual installment of Installation Nation last Friday and Saturday night (organized by the artists' collective Primary Colours) but you did need to pay an entrance fee. Upon arrival, you could've checked out the seven shipping containers, all containing site-specific artwork, arranged spoke-like around the evening's deejay entertainment. One of the most engaging of these installations was the cannon-sized kaleidoscope created by Andrew Ball with Todd Bracik and Matt Warren. They attached two 55-gallon oil barrels together lengthwise to construct the torso of said kaleidoscope; they lined the barrel interiors with acrylic mirrors. While this contraption had to be turned with a hand-crank, Sala Wong's "To Tell a Secret" brought you back into the 21st century with the latest technology and projected the images of words spoken by visitors into four microphones onto the shipping container's inner walls; you could have taken the title of said installation to heart by absorbing others' very intimate sentences strung together in cool blue-lit lettering and/or by telling your own. Xiaoou Sun's confused paper moths (confused by artificial light, that is) were also conceptually intriguing. The other four installations—Ben Valentine's shipping container full of digital-age waste bearing the title "Shipping Hazardous Material Never Solved Anything" is but one example—failed to engage me. So I couldn't help wondering whether it was worth the $8 admission.

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