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Last sync:2024-06-18 00:15
In which John and Sarah talk about The Art Assignment. The Wimbly Womblys play Chesterfield.

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Twitter: @AFCWimblyWombly
John: Hello, and welcome to Hankgames Without Hank. My name is John Green and I'm manager of the AFC Wimbledon Wimbly Womblys, currently in third place in league one. And I'm joined today by...

Sarah: Sarah Urist Green.

John: You need to get closer to the mic. 

Sarah repeats: Sarah Urist Green.

John: There she is. Um, I wish you could see us right now because we are stuffed together on a tiny, orange chair, uh, hovering over the same microphone. It's true- it's true love.

Sarah: It's romance.

John: Yeah, it's actually kind of sweet. (Sarah laughs) But it's also-

Sarah: We, we literally have to touch heads.

John: Yeah, our heads our touching right now. It's gonna be somewhat hard to play in this position, but fortunately I'm one of the greatest FIFA players in history, so everything should be fine. Um, Sarah-

Sarah: What are we, what are we talking about today?

John: I thought we should talk about the art assignment. Um.

Sarah: Okay. I do have other interests. 

John: What else.. well, wh-

Sarah: But I like the art assignment.

John: We'll talk about those a different time, tell us how's the art assignment is going. Wh-, what, what's the art assignment, how's it doing? Oh god! You're terrible luck. Ah. Ah. Ah. Ah! That wasn't a penalty.

Sarah: Okay. Is it a penalty?

John: Might have been. No! It's a goal kick, everything worked out better than expected.

Sarah: Oh perfect. Okay, so the art assignment is, uh, a new web series. Uh, produced by PBS Digital Studios, and it's hosted by me primarily, with John there a lot of the time. And what I do is- I commission artists around the country to come up with art assignments for-

John: We have a corner kick.

Sarah: To come up with- yeah...

John: No, that was good, keep going!

Sarah: To come up with assignments for our wider audience-

John: GOOAALLL!!! Lizzie Bennett! Lizzie Bennett! Sarah, that's the first time a women have scored for the AFC Wimbly Womblys. Lizzie Bennett with a beautiful goal-

Sarah: Alright!

John: -off the corner kick. Lizzie Bennett in her final season. She's announced- just announced her retirement and look at that - it was a nice long corner kick and then Lizzie Bennett... Finisher.

Sarah: Easy header in.

John: There we go.

Sarah: I could do that.

John: Go on. You were a soccer player!

Sarah: Never that good. I played defense, so...

John: Alright. Lean in, lean in a little bit.

Sarah: Okay.

John: Lizzie Bennett also plays defense.

Sarah: Okay.

John: She's a central defender. Um, but yeah, lean in and uh, go on about the art assignment.

Sarah: So, uh, we're- I think 5 episodes in now. 4 episodes in. And so each assignment, an artist gives out an assignment and then the audience does the assignment and uploads their responses to whatever social media they prefer with #TheArtAssignment.

John: And lots of people do it. I mean like hundreds and hundreds of people doing the art assignment.

Sarah: Yeah!

John: That's the coolest thing about it to me.

Sarah: I'm super impressed. People are doing really interesting things, really unexpected things. Um, our first assignment was to meet in the middle - to calculate the exact geographical mid-point between you and a friend and then to pick a date and a time and meet there and then you don't communicate on the way. So it's like how everybody used to get places, you know, committing and then and then being there instead of, uh, 10 late, what have you- so.

John: Maybe you missed it, but the reason that Bald John Green is- is shining the shoes of his husband, Other John Green, is because there's been a gooooooooooooal! (Sarah laughs) Ohhhh... (sings) John Greens, John Greens, Bald 'n' Other John Greens, they're the best forwards that Wimbledon has ever seen!

Sarah: John, since you've heard all this from me before, about the Art Assignment, what questions do you have about the Art Assignment, John?

John: Well, I mean- I- here's what I love about the Art Assignment - it feels to me very- and I've said this to you before, but it feels to me very much like a return to 2007 YouTube, when it was community-oriented and project-oriented. Like, it's a project that kind of- the Art Assignment viewing community can- oooooooooh! (Sarah laughs)

Sarah: Congratulations"

John: (sings) Bald John Green, John Green, - feel free to sing it with me! - he gives it all for the team, upon his moustache we're keen, Bald John Green, John-...

Sarah: Green.

John: That was good, thank you for that.

Sarah: Sure. Uh... One thing I've learned in our years of marriage, John, is that we uh, primarily you, cannot harmonize.

John: Mmm!

Sarah: As soon as I try to enter in, you change!

John: Yeah!

Sarah: Um, so... I just- I just didn't want to put that out into the world.

John: Well, for the record-

Sarah: I- you're much better solo, is what I'm trying to say-

John: I- I am- I am an excellent singer! So-

Sarah: You have played Carnegie Hall, and I have not!

John: I sang at Carnegie Hall!

Sarah: I know!

John: Um... And the staff there said that it was only the fourth worst performance they'd ever heard! (Sarah laughs) Um... No, yeah, I love the fact that the Art Assignment is still- is like, it just feels- like, it has that sense of community about it.

Sarah: Mmm hmm!

John: You know, the community of viewers... That they take the assignments seriously, but they make really interesting- they work really hard to make really interesting work in response to it. And that's kind of rare on YouTube these days.

Sarah: Is it?

John: Yeah. I really like that.

Sarah: Yeah.

John: I mean there's some- like- it's like the Wimbly Womblys in a way actually, because there's all this great like, fan-art and these summaries of the games, and people get really involved in it. And that's what makes me happy. Like, honestly, the two things that I really love doing right now are Art Assignment and Wimbly Womblys, because they have these like, you know, relatively small but very engaged communities around them.

Sarah: But I think what's important to me, with the Art Assignment, is that it has a thing that exists in the world. Like- it has sort of a- a digital, online component, but for most of the assignments, you're encouraged to do something physical out in the world.

John: Yeah! No, definitely. Um-

Sarah: And your sponsorship! Is a real thing in the world.

John: Yeah, we get to real-life sponsor AFC Wimbledon and like-

Sarah: Mmm hmm!

John: That- I like- I like it when um, we've talked about this too, before. How like, when the digital world and the non-digital world can interact and intercept?

Sarah: Mmm hmm.

John: -Is really exciting for me,

Sarah: Yeah! Well, and it does interact and intercept in all of our daily use of the internet, you know.

John: Right!

Sarah: It's not this division.

John: Right. There is no bright line between the inter- like, between the internet and the like, quote unquote "offline world" but I think like, too often, in the way we construct communities and the way we construct projects, uh, that we create that bright line. And so that's what I like about things like the Art Assignment.

Sarah: Oh my gosh, have you noticed how crazy the shadows are in this?!

John: Yeah, well, it's a night time game.

Sarah: Right!

John: Yeah.

Sarah: But it's just- they all have these amazing shadows!

John: Well, it's because they're-

Sarah: Does that happen in real games?

John: Oh, yeah! Oh, yeah!

Sarah: Like, that sort of cross-

John: Yeah, well it's because-

Sarah: -the X pattern?

John: Well, because there's-

Sarah: I get it, I get it.

John: Because there's lights all over the stadium-

Sarah: I get it.

John: -ostensibly. Actually, I don't think Wimbly Lane has any lights, but, you know they've, have to make it up.

Sarah: Right.

John: So that we can play this night time game.

Sarah: Right.

John: Should we make any substitutions at half-time? What did you think?

Sarah: I thought your team played well.

John: I thought they played well too, but I'm concerned that-

Sarah: Might be getting tired?

John: -less Moore, who is not as young as he used to be, is a little bit exhausted.

Sarah: Mmm hmm.

John: Whereas the Gaulden child, as you can see, still in the yellow.

Sarah: Mmm hmm.

John: Let's bring on Hells Pells! What do you think?

Sarah: Looks good to me!

John: You wanna bring on Kaz?

Sarah: I don't know!

John: We call him Kaz. What's his name, Sarah? How would you say that?

Sarah: Where?

John: This guy. Kazvir-...

Sarah: Oh.

John: Highlighted in white.

Sarah: Kazviropoulos.

John: Kazvirop-?! You make it sound easy! You think he's a superhero? That's what I think about Kazviropoulos. Like, his name just sounds like he's secretly-

Sarah: Kazviropoulos.

John: -he's up to something, you know?

Sarah: I don't know. He sounds like a Kazviropoulos.

John: Well, now I wanna call him Kazviropoulos instead of Kaz.

Sarah: Oooh.

John: Anyway, he's coming on. If he scores-

Sarah: Here he is!

John: -I'm gonna sing a Kazviropoulos-

Sarah: He's kind of handsome.

John: No, that's uh- yeah, you think he's good looking?

Sarah: Uhh, not bad!

John: There's not- you know what, we don't make any ugly Wimbly Womblys. I try to make sure that- I only- I only try to hire handsome lads.

Sarah: Mmm.

John: And Kennedy.

Sarah: Mmm hmm?

John: Um. Kennedy's hair is just an embarrassment. That's a great pass, Sarah! Oh, look at Bald- look at Other John Green getting open! His husband is there! His husband-

Sarah: Ohhhhhh!

John: is there! Ohhhhh, but it's Hells Pells!

Sarah: Gooooal!

John: Hells Pells inside the net! Inexplicably- oh-

Sarah: Aren't you-

John: Did you see that little thing thing at the end he did?

Sarah: Aren't you glad you brought him in?!

John: Hells Pells! Yeah, that's a pretty good substitution by me, huh?

Sarah: Yeah.

John: Yeah! Took him all of six seconds to score.

Sarah: Mmm hmm!

John: Hells Pells. Great player. We're up four-nil over Chesterfield. But to be fair, you should win when you're playing a cigarette company. Um. Do you remember Chesterfield cigarettes?

Sarah: No, not from use-

John: Well, no, of course not-

Sarah: but- from existence.

John: God forbid you ever smoked a cigarette, or committed any kind of sin! (Sarah laughs) Um...

Sarah: That's a sin?

John: Yes.

Sarah: Hmm.

John: Well- I don't know. Maybe it's not. I don't know- this- this isn't the Wimbly Wombly episode about sin! It's about the Art Assignment. So, um...

Sarah: So-

John: Tell us about your favorite uh- do you have a favorite Art Assignment response you've seen so far?

Sarah: I don't have an all-over response, but um, the- the responses to episode four - Never Seen, Never Will, with David Brooks-

John: Oooooo-ooooooooooh! Ya ya ya ya ya Bamba! Ya ya ya ya ya Bamba just scored a goal, just scored a goal, just scored a goal. Ya ya Bamba. Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch. Ya ya Bamba. (talks) Should I do it again or was that enough?

Sarah: (laughing) That was good. That was good.

John: I mean, did you see what happened? The goalkeeper like inexplicably ran twenty feet outside of his box-

Sarah: Yeah.

John: -and ya Bamba was like, I- I sense an opportunity!

Sarah: That's really fair.

John: And he just took- took the shot. Oh! Ohhh. This is an absolute mauling.

Sarah: I mean, I kind of feel bad for Chesterfield.

John: (groans) Don't feel bad for Chesterfield!

Sarah: Why?

John: They deserve to be humiliated and- and, no! I mean, that's- when- we have to lay our opponents low so that they don't just lose, but they feel like they are less than human.

Sarah: That's terrible!

John: No, that's the goal of the game!

Sarah: Nooo.

John: The game is about glory!

Sarah: No.

John: What is the point of soccer if not- if not to- oh! Ohhhh! Is it my birthday?! (Sarah laughs) (sings) He's big, he's tough, he has a ginger puff, Other John Green, Other John Green! (talks) Sarah-

Sarah: He's big, isn't he?!

John: He's a big, strong lad. Sarah, will you please co-host every Wimbly Wombly game?

Sarah: Do you not usually do this well?

John: No. This is-

Sarah: Am I revealing that I don't usually watch? (laughs)

John: This is an unprecedented miracle on professional skill level. To be up six-nothing with thirty minutes to go - I've never had a game like this! Ever! All the fans are like "we want more Sarah!" (Sarah laughs) Oh, oh! Ohhhh. Get there, get there Bald John Green! Pass the ball! That's a foul- that's a foul on them. They've been naughty! If I score- just- I'm just gonna tell you this right now. If I score from here-

Sarah: Mmm hmm.

John: If I score a goal from this position, you- you literally have to uh, be at every Wimbly Wombly episode ever, for the rest of time. Because I am so bad at free kicks. Nope.

Sarah: Oh.

John: Okay. You're fine.

Sarah: Sorry.

John: You're fine.

Sarah: You know, watching this makes me wanna see a version of this game where it's no players, only shadows. (John chuckles) Kind of like um- that Cory Arcangel artwork where he hacked a Nintendo-

John: Oh, I love that!

Sarah: So that it-

John: I loved that!

Sarah: -it only showed uh, the clouds in the background-

John: Yeah.

Sarah: -of an early Nintendo game.

John: It wasn't an early Nintendo game, it was-

Sarah: I think it was-

John: It was Super Mario Brothers.

Sarah: -it was Mario Brothers. And it was the clouds, right?

John: Yeah, it was just the clouds-

Sarah: Yeah.

John: And I think- didn't you sometimes-

Sarah: And they were falling?

John: Yeah. Oh, it was really beautiful.

Sarah: Oh, it was just gorgeous.

John: Yeah! He's a great artist.

Sarah: Yeah. But anyway-

John: Ohhh!

Sarah: In a similar way, I'd like to see this, only shadows.

John: Yeah. Um... I once played a game- there's a glitch sometimes where the ball doesn't show up?

Sarah: Mmm! That's kind of great.

John: And I once- I once played a game with no ball. I got my ass kicked! (Sarah chuckles) It turns out that the ball is vital (Sarah laughs) to uh (laughs) to-

Sarah: Wait, did it exist, and you just couldn't see it?

John: Exactly!

Sarah: Okay.

John: It existed. It was just invisible.

Sarah: Invisible soccer.

John: Invisible soccer ball. Ooooh! Oh, my G- oh, what, what, what?! What?! For why?! I really wanted to score a seventh goal. I was really excited about the prospect, but Hells Pells just- what, is that seriously- that's a foul?!

Sarah: So at our son's pre-school, the way that they regulate behavior is with yellow cards and red cards-

John: Right.

Sarah: Uh, and I loved the day that Henry - you were watching soccer - and Henry's ears pricked up and he goes "yellow card?" (John laughs) "he got a yellow card?!"

John: And he was like "He got a yellow card! What did he get a yellow card for? Was he not listening during circle time?"

(Sarah and John both laugh)

John: Yeah, um... He is really- he is really now very interested in the yellow card/red card- you've gotta be so- in a real soccer game, you've gotta be so naughty to get a red card, um-

Sarah: Right.

John: Whereas in-

Sarah: In pre-school, you just have to like, talk to your friends during circle time.

John: Right, yeah. When you have- but like, I do like that in pre-school, there's yellow cards, and then if you get two yellow cards, you get a red card, just like in soccer. But just like in soccer, there's also a straight red.

Sarah: Right.

John: If you do something just like-

Sarah: So bad-

John: -just so horrible, that it's- oh no! Oh no! Oh, suddenly it's six-one!

Sarah: But soccer players, if they get a red or- a red card, they don't get a treasure on Fridays either.

John: Right, yeah. That's the deal, is if you get a red card, no- you don't get to go to the treasure chest on Friday. And uh, that's surprisingly effective!

Sarah: Mmm hmm!

John: Like, Henry-Henry knows when it's treasure chest day. He's very excited, even though- frankly, you know, as treasures go...

(Sarah and John chuckle)

John: Um, so... We only have two minutes left in the game. But your favorite Art Assignments so far have been from David Brooks' Never Seen, Never Will-

Sarah: Never Seen, Never Will, yeah.

John: I think that's such a beautiful assignment, too-

Sarah: Yeah.

John: -because it gets at so much of what's really interesting to me about contemporary art. Oh, my God.

Sarah: So-

John: Oh, my God.

Sarah: Yes. Goal.

John: Oh my goodness gracious!

Sarah: Goal.

John: Look at him, look at him! He's just like-

Sarah: He's really excited!

John: -"Oh, I'm so hot!" He's like "Ooooh, I am hot right now!" Ohhh, Other John Green, from Bald John Green, to complete the dismantling of Chesterfield. And the song that we sing in that situation is (sings) John Greens, John Greens, Bald 'n' Other John Greens, they're the best strikers that Wimbledon has ever seen!

Sarah: So, uh- the Never Seen, Never Will assignment is to articulate something that exists, but that you've never seen-

John: Yeah.

Sarah: -and will probably never see in your lifetime.

John: Right. It's so beautiful, because it makes us- it reminds us- of the image saturation of the world. Look at that scoreline! Seven to one.

Sarah: Ahhh.

John: Are you sure you can't come for every episode we ever film?

Sarah: (laughs) Well I have to make the Art Assignment!

John: Well thank you for being our special guest today. And best wishes!