ALOTTATHISALOTTATHAT – Art Intersecting “Innovation” and Equaling Nothing

Described as “part freestyle musical theater, part dessert reception,” the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver created a special event for participants of the Colorado Innovation Network (COIN) Summit, held in Denver at the Art Museum August 29-30. Adam Lerner, who sits on the board of COIN and his MCA creative team put together ALOTTATHISALOTTATHAT to show that innovative thinking begins with breaking away from conventional ways of seeing the world.

Seen and experienced at ALOTTATHISALOTTATHAT was a sound bar where guests requested songs performed acoustically by two staffers, consuming a gin drink or a vodka drink (or both), watching Nintendo video games being played on a giant screen, wandering through the museum exhibitions, hanging out at the rooftop bar, eating gourmet chocolates and mingling with a giant pink bunny while listening to a kilt- wearing bagpiper play dirges for a notoriously slow elevator.

Following Salman Rushdie’s advice that, “a bit of this and a bit of that is how newness enters the world,” Lerner and his team attempted to give COIN Summit participants ALOTTATHISALOTTATHAT. But it was really a bit-of-bunny-and-bagpipes-and-some-dessert-and-conversation leaving me perplexed. If this is the intersection of art and innovation no wonder so few creative innovators were invited to the summit. The best Lerner and his staff could come up with was a pink bunny and bagpipes?

The highly touted and innovative director of the MCA who calls himself Chief Animator in the Department of Fictions might want to toss this sketch aside and start over. The effort at being uber hip and silly didn’t work this time. It came across as trying a bit too hard to be a bit too cool. Unfortunately, the result was not a lot of anything and more a bunch of nothing.


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