Since Spring 2016, I have been directing several artist collaborations with Hattie Ball and Seth Gibson in Interactive Digital Public Art, and projects with Virtual Reality. The three of us work really well together. My style of leadership is aligned with the methods described in Douglas Hegley's, Agile Museum, shared in a presentation and published paper at Museums and the Web, 2016. This means that I say "ok, tell me more" a lot and encourage each voice to have 100% value. We are quick to respond to the world and each other. We sizzle with synergy.
Our first collaborative work was Interactive Clouds for Creative Tech Week, NYC, and exhibited at Mpls Digital Art in the exhibit Inter:Connected . Hattie and I collaborated on A Bees View, a VR work for the exhibit, Bees, and all 3 of us are working on an Interactive Digital Video and a VR Empathy Experience for the community placemaking Purple Flower Project.
The concept of Clouds, the finale of my presentation, New Tech for a Better World, at Creative Tech Week, NYC was to demonstrate in a fun easy way using mobile technology, social media and interactive gaming. Unexpected participatory behaviors created a socially shared illusion of "making a better world" - easily, together, just by tweeting!
How it works: I invite the public audience to participate by tweeting colors of the rainbow to the clouds. People start to tweet #red, #orange, #yellow, and a rainbow starts to emerge and build in color as people continue to tweet colors. Once a certain amount of people tweet the colors (an adjustable variable), a Double Rainbow appears, giving the collective feeling of achievement. Next, two things may happen: People clap (Yay maybe its this easy to make world peace!), or someone tweets "Oh cool, together we created a better world #doublerainblow," or "yay we made a Double Rainbow together" either way, the word Double Rainbow triggers a Purple Unicorn to appear. Yes purple, first of all why assume all unicorns must be white, and Prince had just died and it is in respect and reverence that he symbolized transcendence and the spirit of collective healing. The video sample here is a YouTube demo of the final interactive one, which works great, for live public performances, galleries and presentations, with a Windows operating system.
How we work well together: Hattie and I learned we conceptualize and problem solve well together when I told her my original idea. We expanded it together and as we talked our ideas pushed our boundaries of technology. We shared our ideas with Seth, who said that he had just had a workshop on programming for the interactive twitter public participatory - so we were set! I drew all the background clouds with my self-designed iPad drawing software. Hattie made it all look like a video-game by creating a layer of clouds using Unity. Seth did all the interactive programming and runs it when he visits. I finished off the editing and presented it at CTW.
A Bees View
Hattie and I collaborated on A Bee's View. I had been drawing flowers one Summer afternoon as Hattie came to the gallery, I asked her to join me in drawing. We each drew a flower and then drew one together. As we drew and talked we envisioned creating the VR space from the perspective of the bee. I animated our drawings and sent them to Hattie. She used Unity to transform them into a flower drawing-tiled space with 3D flowers and pollen balls floating in the air.
Purple Flower Project
The Summer drawings of flowers turned into a big Public Art project this Fall. A Community Place-making Partnership with the Domestic Abuse Project (DAP). It's a project granted by the Hennepin Theatre Trust, Partners in Public Spaces and Southwest Airlines. I submitted the proposal as a united creative team for all three of us. It felt really great to have grown as a team and by doing so there are so many more partners involved! From the community funders, the entire staff at DAP, over 60 women and children survivors of DV who drew purple flowers each week on iPads, the crew at HTT, even people on social media who have participated in some way from this effort.
This Project is not done yet but so far I have over 60 animated drawings (watch drawings playback below!) created on the iPad with self-designed software. The drawings are drawn with survivors of domestic violence and are being turned into two creative media works to help raise awareness. One is an Interactive Video using all the drawings which compose a garden of purple flowers. When a public participant donates a dollar to DAP by using Twitter, or DAP's website, a bee will fly into a flower and pollinate it causing a fact about domestic abuse to appear. The other project is a VR Empathy Experience. 3D purple flowers will join the drawings while the viewer enjoys an uplifting journey pollinated with bees and an opportunity to learn more facts on domestic violence. The project is not done yet but on Dec. 8th it will be revealed at the Opening!