SPX Panels: Super Art Fight! / by David Anderson


Good lord, it's the last week of SPX coverage! Better get what I can in now before the clock strikes midnight and the moon monster steals-- That got away from me fast, I apologize. I'm trying to convey my sense of urgency and the words not exit mouth good.

So one of the things I got to see at SPX was Super Art Fight. If you read my interview with Jamie Noguchi then you know the idea behind it. For the uninitiated, it's a game where two artists pick a theme from a jackpot called the Wheel of Death, then have to draw pictures based on that theme. The theme changes every five minutes. Whoever draws the most awesome pictures wins. How do they determine a winner? A judge raises each competitor's hand in the air, and if artist A evokes louder screams from the crowd than artist B, artist A wins. I think I saw the judge holding a decibel meter too.

The room was a large indoor amphitheater kind of setting in the hotel room, so everyone could see the action clearly. A respectably-sized crowd filled the seats and lined the walls. There certainly was no "wait and see" vibe coming from them--everyone knew exactly what they were here for and were glad to be. The judges announced the first artists to duel with humor and handshakes, a brief explanation of the rules, and then they were off.

In spite of the speed and pressure an artist might feel, scribbling is a sure losing strategy. If you're going to beat your opponent, you need to draw quickly but smoothly. Use your imagination, think fast. If you can, get on the opponent's side of the canvas and draw your ideas beating up theirs, but try to be vigilant if they do the same to you. It's like MMA tournaments with markers, basically.

Three consecutive rounds were played, with newcomers challenging incumbent winners. In the end, Jamie Noguchi took the title of champion for SPX's Art Fight. It was funny, exciting, gross, and tense. I took as many pictures as I could with my Android. Follow the link here to see them. Here's a little explanation of some of the pictures:

- The first canvas has a cityscape on it, but the following fresh ones are blank thanks to the time constraints.

- The Wheel of Death has a ton of different options in it, from the snarky to nonsensical to the brutally sexual. Thousands may be an underestimate of the number of choices.

- I photographed the first match almost item by item for a while, but decided it would be better to space them out more frequently so you'll see a lot of the beginning stages before it jumps to the nearly completed pictures.

- My phone was almost dead too, so I had to conserve shots. I didn't get any pics of the second match due to both this factor and also because it was NSFW as all hell- literally everything had a dick.

- Eventually I had my charger, but in the third round I decided to just take a few photos of the last few minutes since I'd missed a lot while trying to get it. This last round was less NSFW than the one before, but there's still some gross stuff there so if you don't like projectile shit then these images will make you sad and vomit.

- The final loser didn't take kindly to his defeat and murdered the audience with a belt-fed NERF gun.