GISHWHES ’14

Gishwhes Item 90

I made, photographed and assembled this collage for GISHWHES ’14.

This was Item 90:  “Gingerbread Villages are always so cute and quaint. Make a gingerbread village that shows urban blight: needle exchanges, prostitution, heavy police presence, etc.”

GISHWHES is the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt The World Has Ever Seen. I was on a team with 15 people from all over the world, mostly the US and Australia. Gishwhes is a high pressure creative and social competition. With over 150 teams and 190 items to complete, the Hunt is an incredible week-long collaborative opportunity.

Items range from the artistic (Item 112:  Outside in nature, read “Huck Finn” by the light of a lantern made entirely from lightning bugs), to the kind (Item 96:  Many people go their whole lives without really getting to know their neighbors. Find a neighbor you’ve never met and offer to sweep their patio, mow their lawn or help them with some other task they have to do).

From the weird (Item 86:  Catch a fish, with a fish while dressed as a fish), to the sweet (Item 173:  Wearing a bathing suit, cover every inch of your exposed skin with honey, syrup or jam. Hold a sign on a busy public sidewalk that reads, “Free Hugs.” Enthusiastically attempt to recruit hug-victims).

And from the difficult (Item 93:  Give one of your favorite and most valued objects to a homeless person), to the impossible (Item 183:  Get “GISHWHES conquers space” or “GISHWHES [insert other clever phrase]” written on or in something orbiting in space. 400 points if an astronaut poses with the inscription).

I did GISHWHES last year, this year and will probably do it again next year. It’s a great way to stay creative, have fun, be kind and horribly embarrass yourself in public.

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