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Uncomfortably Numb - More Archer's Arcadia

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by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
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Is it an amusement arcade or an art exhibition?
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Bubbles the Pig - Steampunk Gadgets at Uncomfortably Numb


Uncomfortably Numb is one the most unusual art exhibitions that you will ever see. If you can call it an art exhibition - some might say it's more of an amusement arcade. It's strangely addictive and full of fun things to do.

When Adelaide artist David Archer was invited to put on an exhibition at the University of South Australia's SASA Gallery he faced a conundrum. His previous art exhibition Archer's Arcadia is currently being exhibited interstate, and few pieces were available to show at present.

David was forced to throw himself into his work and develop new pieces urgently. Bubbles the pig is one of his new steampunk gadgets that took over 100 hours to create. This massive monster pig rewards visitors with bubbles if fed with a one dollar coin. Some of the other amusement arcade machines are also dollar coin operated, but many are not.

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One of the Amusement Arcade Machines at University of South Australia


The Uncomfortably Numb exotic interactive art exhibition is a free event full of gadgets that will amuse and awe both young and old. For me the display was a nostalgic (if warped) reminder of the amusement arcade that once graced our seaside suburbs. But it's also fun for kids who are enthralled and delighted with these colourful constructions. Many exhibits will perform unpredictably if the handle is turned - do you dare to try?

Marvel at the Marriage Machine, a darkly comedic piece with a divided horse and the married couple in the centre hinting at compromise. Watch Beakey the Amazing Drawing Bird magically produce your own personal spirograph as it does its demonic dance. Will the steampunk smoking pig help you kick your habit? What will you hear when you listen to the thoughts of a porker in a bell jar? Do you really want to believe the terrible truths of the Fortune Teller?

This free event at the University of South Australia is full of sophisticated surprises that will shock and please you.

Uncomfortably Numb also contains a wall of more conventional painted pieces. Well, more conventional until you look closer! I won't spoil the wonder of this exhibition by showing more than titillating hints of what to expect.

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Let Beakey Draw a Spirograph For You at This Free Event


David Archer's exotic art and steampunk gadgets are made largely from recycled materials. Bits of hard rubbish, oddments from his garage, and assorted unwanted goods all combine magically into wonderful works. Be inspired. Be amused. Be entertained.

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Adelaide Artist David Archer in the Photo Booth at Uncomfortably Numb


When you visit, don't forget to use the photo booth and take a selfie. Head over and Like the Archer's Arcadia Facebook page and then submit your photo to be eligible to win a prize.

Uncomfortably Numb is one of the fun things to do that you must visit in the next month. This zany art exhibition and amusement arcade is on display at the SASA Gallery of the University of South Australia until Friday April 24. It's a free event, but if you miss it you can catch it at the National Railway Museum's Steampunk Festival from May 30-31.

Just remember to bring a few dollar coins!

The SASA Gallery is located on the ground floor of UniSA's Kaurna Building, virtually adjacent to the World's End Hotel. The exhibition is open Monday to Friday from 11am until 5pm.
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Why? Everyone will love Uncomfortably Numb, one of the best fun things to do in Adelaide
When: Monday to Friday 11am - 5pm
Where: Level 2, Kaurna Building, Fenn Place, Adelaide SA 5000
Cost: Free - but bring some dollar coins
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