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'Experimental Speed Dating' Offers New Ways to Meet People in Bushwick Bar

By Meredith Hoffman | February 13, 2013 7:56am

BUSHWICK —  A new matchmaker on the block has two questions for all single folks out there:

"Tired of how lame dating is? Tired of how lamer speed dating is?"

Artist Aaron Finbloom believes he has the cure: teach a potential mate to breathe or act like he or she is 6 years old.

This Valentine's Day, Finbloom is leading "Experimental Speed Dating" at Tandem Bar, where he'll push guests to spice up their interactions with instructions like "measure the other person's aura" and "speak with a ridiculous foreign accent." 

"Everyone will be partnered up and every three minutes you'll be with a new person with a new instruction," said Finbloom, 30, of the free event. "When people go speed dating everyone's intention is to find a date, but for this event the purpose is really to have a lot of fun."

At Finbloom's first experience speed dating — for research purposes, the bachelor insisted — he found most people cringing with boredom after the first 30 minutes in the game.

"They got annoyed...they kept having to say the same thing," he said. "But if it's true that the most important thing is chemistry then it doesn't really matter if you speak — just that you interact."

Those guided interactions will include, Finbloom said, "take turns saying only one word at a time...measure the person's aura and decide if you feel like speaking...and try to tell the other person everything you're thinking right now."

Plus, he added, "I might throw in a few philosophical unanswerable things to talk about."

Meanwhile, participants can take advantage of Tandem's spirits to lubricate their potential awkwardness, and they can stay at the bar after the event for Tandem's Valentine's Day party, he said.

"This whole thing is inspired by Surrealists, Dadaists, Fluxists," he said of the art movements that prompted his twist on speed dating. "This is the kind of thing I do, putting on these sorts of events."

Registration for "Experimental Speed Dating" is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Tandem Bar at 236 Troutman St.  The event will run 8:30 — 10:30 p.m.