Stefan Gruber is a pretty fascinating character. When we invited him to Quickdraw in 2014, it wasn’t just to show his films. He’s a performance artist, and conducted animated psychic readings in our old classroom, creating live loops while connecting to the crowd. He’s also an inventor of games; he hosted a round of three-way soccer, although we never got the chance to try his hexagonal chess. As an instructor, an artist, and just as a person, he has a remarkable way of making people feel connected, and generally encouraging them to approach the world from a slightly different angle.

Edible Rocks is one of Gruber’s most straightforward stories, an anecdote about one of those small moments between siblings that leave a lasting impression almost despite themselves. Simple as it is, though, it’s also a fantastic illustration of how two people can experience the same moment in completely different ways, without ever realizing it. In that way, it’s sort of a perfect distillation of his approach to art and connection in general—using his imagination to convince you that the world is sweeter than it seems, no matter what everyone else says.

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