Downtown, practically in the heart of San Marco, the stage was being set as members, students and non-members alike flocked into Paul Figura’s studio space with anxious excitement for the final first round match-up in AIGA Jacksonville’s, Krung Stock sponsored, Krung Fu tournament. The tournament has been building a steady momentum, and with each match the crowd becomes more and more diverse with newcomers. The second round matchups were almost in place as AIGA Jacksonville President, Varick “The Drunken Masker” Rosete was slated to face off against Vice-President, Karen “Flying Kicks of Color” Kurycki for the final slot.
The buildup for this matchup wasn’t just limited to the special series of challenge videos for this battle. Karen and Varick have a long-standing professional history that was put on hold as a barrage of trash talk took to the social media outlets. Both contenders sent youtube video accompanied jabs at one another via Twitter & Facebook, followed by bystanders joining in with “RT” and “OH” (retweet & overheard) postings only fueling the back and forth. As the match drew near though, the nervousness and butterflies became apparent. It was go time.
The room was getting rowdy as the topic was announced and the designers received their elements to work with. The staple 45min. time limit was underway, and both competitors had a game plan to try and get an edge over the other. As both compositions started to take shape, so did the preferences of the crowd. Camps of both sides started to pop up in the crowd; in the back of the audience one group even raised individual letters printed out above their heads cheering Karen on stadium style. The scene was an energetic one, and the compositions were taking Krung Fu to new levels as both of them broke boundaries like in no match has ever before.
Levi and Crobar were back in action aside the table giving the technical play by play, belittling both participants’ ability to function as designers at every given opportunity to an intent crowd of viewers. As everyone looked on, things took a turn when Varick opened up Apple Photo Booth, picking up his laptop, spinning it around and capturing a snapshot of an unsuspecting Karen who was diligently focused on her screen. He pulled a trick out of his hat, and added her to his composition with a chance that she would play a part in her own defeat. Unknown to Varick however, Karen was pulling her own stunt, not yet attempted by anyone in the tournament, creating an animated GIF with her composition.
When things came to a close, both contenders look relieved with undertones of uncertainty as they finally saw what the other had produced. The ballots were being passed around and a divided crowd made their choices. It was time to declare a winner, but that declaration was easier said than done. As the announcement was made both Varick and Karen responded with “what?!” In an already boundary breaking and innovative matchup, something else jumped in for a final twist — a tie. There was not a definitive winner.
As Krung Fu moves into the next round, Dennis “The Minimalist Menace” Eusebio, Katy “Cut and Paste Crippled Crane Style” Garrison and Stephanie “Iron Sketch” Soden — our previous victors — will face an array of all new challenges and formatting surprises being introduced into the tournament setup. Furthermore, one of them will now have to face off in a triple threat match against both Karen “Flying Kicks of Color” Kurycki and Varick “The Drunken Masker” Rosete. With these surprise format changes, and the new boundary breaking tactics having been attempted in the fourth matchup, the future of the next round in Krung Fu is going to be unpredictable and undoubtedly intense.
Be on the look out for the next round to kick off in October and the good times to continue. We’ll see you at the next Krung Fu!
– Jim, membership co-director