Welcome to Arcade

May 12, 2008


Welcome to Arcade. I’m Virgil Adams, one of the Playbeards. We’re an art-science collective, rather hard to describe, but I’m here to outline our aim for this initial residency at BAC and what we are asking you to do. I’m a scientist; forgive me then if this opening statement values clarity over poetry.

We ask for your help in exploring the Arcade. In one sense, you are our experimental subjects: we want to see how you respond to the Arcade as we represent it in various spaces. In another sense, you are our fellow experimenters: because of course, ultimately, our experimental subject is the mysterious underground place which appeared and disappeared in 1983, dubbed the Arcade by Professor Robert Sherman. Professor Sherman generously made available copies of reports and documentations by the original investigative team; it is partly from these that we now reconstruct the Arcade. We hope with your help that we may get closer to understanding the seemingly inscrutable mystery of the Arcade.

More information on the history of the Arcade will soon be available here.

We are reconstructing the Arcade in various spaces, several virtual and (at least) one real-world. This last real-world space is fittingly the Basement of BAC.

There are slots available to enter the Basement every 15 minutes between 5pm and 10.30pm on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th May. You will enter and explore the Basement alone.

But you will need a password to purchase the ticket for any particular Basement slot. You will be given this password only after successful exploration of a number of the virtual spaces, which will be accessible online in advance of your visit to BAC.

So. Rather comprehensive but I hope clear instructions follow on clicking here.

As you will see, the first step is to email pencilling@playbeards.info with your choice of slot.

Thanks for your interest.

Yours faithfully,

Virgil Adams


First, please consult the current schedule of Basement slots available for you as posted here. This will be regularly updated.

Next, email pencilling@playbeards.info with a first-choice and second-choice slot. You will be issued an experimental codename and a pencilled confirmation of one slot.

Next, wait for further instruction.

Please note that if you cannot respond with successful completion of instruction by the specified deadline, you may lose your Basement slot.

Stage one of the experiment is open.
There will be a simple initial experiment sent to you on receipt of your pencilled slot. You will have until Sunday 18 May or 48 hours after posting, whichever is later, to complete that experiment.

Stage two of the experiment opens on Monday 19 May
The first set of virtual spaces will be ready for exploration online by Monday 19 May and we will notify you then by email. You will have 48 hours from the sending of that email to complete exploration of that first set of virtual spaces. If exploration is successful, you will be issued with a password so that you can purchase the ticket for your Basement slot (a token £3, with a concessionary rate of £2)

Stage three of the experiment opens on Friday 23 May
The second set of virtual spaces and the real-world space of the Basement will be ready for exploration.