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Saturday Lauren and I went to the Co Prosperity Sphere to check out the NFO XPO. In all honesty I hadn’t been to a Version festival in three years. Three years ago both myself and several friends were stranded in Bridgeport at 2am in the rain and miles from the train (no taxis would come pick us up and the bus had stopped running). So, with that incident behind me, I returned to Version Fest in a car and with a fresh amount of optimism.

The layout of the fair looked liked most art fairs in the sense that each artist/organization/gallery had an individual booth and objects were either being sold/bartered/given away.

Golden Age, manned by the always rad Marco Kane Braunschweiler (pictured right), was one of my favorite booths. They carried work by Robin Camron.  I was really into Camron’s “Mind Maps” and picked up her most recent book also titled “Mind Maps” which maps the artist’s thoughts through extended Venn diagrams.

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Green Lantern and Three Walls held it down in usual fashion. Aaron Delehanty had a psychiatric help booth set up which resembled “Peanuts”.  I did not get a chance get Aaron’s advice but I did hear him tell a woman that she needed to “go get a job”.  I was also sort of taken with Daniel Mellis’  Institute for Socioaesthetic Research. According to a pamphlet, “the institute is dedicated to discovering the aesthetic possibilities inherent in the research and observation of social structures.” To be honest I was initially attracted to the stock of paper that their pamphlet and business cards were printed on (I spend all day at work talking about paper) but also became interested in some of the services they offered. “The Fourth Amendment on Paper (Bags) Learn about your constitutional rights while enjoying a refreshing beverage at Maria’s (Kaplan’s Liquors),960 w. 31st street. Every purchase comes with the Fourth Amendment and instructions for use on a paper bag. Remember, bags at a liquor store are no substitute for legal advice.”

My overall feeling when I left was that I liked some portions of Version but wished there were more participants. And being the optimist that I surprisingly am, I think that more participation will come over time.

Meg Onli

Meg Onli is a visual artist and blogger born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Meg moved to Chicago, Illinois in 2005 where she received a Bachelor in Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has been with the Chicago-based art and culture podcast/blog Bad at Sports since 2006 where she is currently the Associate Producer. She has an unfathomable apatite for documentary films, 60s & 70s performance art, and cute cats. Meg has exhibited work in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City. Currently, she is working on a project that documents her steps in recording Motwon’s first girl group sensation, the Marvelettes, version of “Where did Our Love Go?”

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