Interactive art at its fin(d)est and most fetching. Word play was all over the place this weekend as I, your intrepid reporter, braved the wilds of Fountain Square in support of Finders Keepers — a geocaching art scavenger hunt. Art lovers can see the actual, larger works of art from iMOCA in The Murphy Building. Finders Keepers is a beautiful free exhibition. No tickets, no admission, and the scavenger hunt is on for those who enjoy the scavenging and the hunt. This is good news for me, and anyone remotely like me.
Why is this good news, you ask?
Because I might just be the worst geocacher in the entire history of the hobby. Seriously, if this was Willy Wonka, there is absolutely no golden ticket in my future. On the flip side, like Wonka, I did have lots of chocolate with me to snack on while out and about. For me, chocolate helps cushion the blow of failure – failure in that metaphorical sense, not literally. But I can't lie – I actually had a really good time on the scavenger hunt - looking slightly shifty whilst trekking about and peering into the area's dark, shifty corners and suspicious hidden holes, snapping photos of the entire process.
So it was in that spirit of assignment and adventure, and for the love of exploring my city and trying something completely new, I got out there to geocache. I got out there in the light and heat, in and around the Fountain Square area and southern downtown. I don't want to admit how much technology I had, nor the fact I wore my lucky shoes; moreover, I certainly don't want to admit how many hours elapsed before I gave up. I even researched and asked questions of the ultra-helpful folks at the iMOCA. So, it's not like I wasn't prepared. And while I did not interview new executive director Paula Katz, I have a hunch she would have also tried to help me along in my geocaching quest, should I have asked.
All I can say is that, first, I gave geocaching my level best. Next I asked a friend to help. At one point, I even asked strangers for advice. And in the end, I mostly took a lot of pictures, laughed heartily at both the sky and the ground, then took swigs of water to make sure I was properly hydrated, and in fact, not succumbing to the sun's intensity. I cajoled my intrepid geocaching companion to triple check those coordinates on his fancy iPhone – none of which actually helped me locate priceless works of miniature art. I'm sure the pieces are there, and I'm sure those of you top-ranked geocachers out there will find them. So, for those of you better at the sport, the coordinates are listed on their website.
Although unsuccessful in actually locating the geocache art nuggets, I did find a few things equally as important and possibly just as priceless. I was reminded that I rarely, if ever, view any opportunity as a failure – I always make sure I learn something from an experience and the Finders Keepers geocache scavenger hunt and exhibit is no different. I saw a part of the city completely foreign to me. I found yard sales. I found awesome art ALL OVER the area that I caught only while on foot – I would not have noticed most of it from a moving car, and certainly not if I had been the driver. Quite frankly, all of Indianapolis feels like a geocaching activity to me now – there's life in every nook and cranny in this city. And I'm now officially confused when I hear people say there's nothing to do here. There's almost too much going on here and too much to do. I'm not even sure what I might tell someone to go look at and do first.
Wait, yes I do!
I would tell them to first visit the iMOCA exhibit at the Murphy Building, then download the GPS coordinates from their website. The featured artists include local favorites like Brent Aldrich, Leticia Bajuyo, Lobyn Hamilton, Robert Horvath, Indy Droids, Jon Love, Copy Culture, Guatam Rao, Constance Scopelitis, Marna Shopoff, Jeffrey Teuton and Andrew Winship. There's some real talent on display at the iMOCA for this exhibit and it'd be a shame to miss it.
What: Finders Keepers
When: August 19 - October 31
Where: iMOCA and various locations found at inydymoca.org