After a 12-hour carpool ride listening to The Avett Brothers on repeat and practicing his vape O’s, sophomore Will Dunkie’s Apple Maps pinged that he had arrived at his location. After months of saving up, his Vector Marketing job finally paid off in what will be the spring break trip of his lifetime. South by Southwest, or “South by” as festival-goers call it, is a chance for the people who always brag about knowing artists before they were cool to scavenge for even more obscure art to obsess over. Unfortuntaely, Dunkie failed to realize that 800 Basin Street was not, in fact, SXSW -- but rather NXNW.
“This first showcase is sick! They even have Austin’s favorite beverage: cold brew,” Dunkie said as he made himself what was a very much hot complimentary coffee in the game room. Facing the TV wall, he whispered, “This multi-television art installation that only plays ESPN at all times of day is a harrowing display of the human condition. They didn’t have to go that hard.”
Hot coffee in hand, Dunkie ventured into the outdoor area believing it would be a low-key VIP bungalow to wait for the next showcase. Instead, a flock of geese were diving into the pool, floating on giant inflatable donuts and doing synchronized swimming right before his very eyes. Ever the participator in performance art, Dunkie dipped his toe in the water -- only to have his entire foot bitten off. “MY FOOT!” Dunkie yelped while simultaneously filming the experience in virtual reality and Facebook Live.
“Didn’t they tell you, bucko? This is our territory now,” sneered a rogue Canadian Goose wearing a pair of Ray-Bans with #NXNW written on the side. “This is North by Northwest; we run this shit. Let me guess, you expected to come here and find a bunch of cool start-ups and bands to take pictures with to build your Instagram aesthetic up? You’re just like the rest of ‘em. Disgusting.”
The rogue goose gestured to a bush near the back of the pool, where a cage full of spring breakers were held captive. One of the captives wearing a Sylvan Esso shirt held up a sign saying, “RIDE NEEDED TO AUSTIN, WILLING TO THROW DOWN FOR GAS” while the rest of them munched on Doritos Locos Tacos rations that the guard goose threw them.
Dunkie blinked. “Dude, mad respect for the art of course. I’ll just be going on my way. Just...thank you. This is the most invigorating stereoscopic 4D art experience I have ever been a part of, I feel so inspired to build my craft now.” Dunkie then clicked his foot back together as if it were a Lego and limped all 12 hours back home.