SPark: CCC Finalist

Team

Will Peterson, Bill Ferenc, Melissa Gagner, Trygve Nordberg

Overview

The Minneapolis Convention Center plaza is a reclaimed disc of grass floating atop a subterranean parking lot. It seems fitting to top it with a crown of shiny metal flower sculptures salvaged from the products of an expanding modern city. SPark is a colony of autonomous flower sculptures linked by a wireless network. Visitors will be able to walk among the flower sculptures, and bring them to life by way of two or more touch activated heart rate sensors. Pulses of light and motion will spread out in concentric waves from the participating visitor, amplifying their heart beat throughout plaza.The Minneapolis Convention Center plaza is a reclaimed disc of grass floating atop a subterranean parking lot. It seems fitting to top it with a crown of shiny metal flower sculptures salvaged from the products of an expanding modern city.

SPark is a colony of autonomous flower sculptures linked by a wireless network. Visitors will be able to walk among the flower sculptures, and bring them to life by way of two or more touch activated heart rate sensors. Pulses of light and motion will spread out in concentric waves from the participating visitor, amplifying their heart beat throughout plaza.

Video

Will Peterson, SPark, Creative CIty Challenge from Northern Spark on Vimeo.

Photos

Description

A park of movement, light, and wonder that will interact with its visitors.

The Minneapolis Convention Center is a prime example of reclamation. A thin disc of grass floating atop a subterranean parking lot. It seems fitting to top it with a crown of shiny metal flower sculptures salvaged from the products of an expanding modern city. Reclaimed materials brought to life through the interaction of the surrounding community. Flowers are a symbol of growth and prosperity. Minneapolis is, at it’s heart an agricultural town built from the fertile soil of the surrounding farmland.

SPark is a colony of autonomous flower sculptures linked by a wireless network. Each flower sculpture in the colony will be created with recycled metal from city building projects, and outfitted with a solar cell, a small weather-proof motor, LED lights and a hidden battery pack and receiver. Reflective surfaces on the flower will sparkle in the sun and spin and shake with interaction.

The installation will open to the public with 150 flower sculptures and slowly expand to 200+ over the course of the summer. These flower sculptures will reside primarily in the circular green space, but will migrate toward the road and into other adjacent parts of the park, creating a higher visibility project that will beg to be explored.

The flower sculptures will be fabricated by The Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center, a local artist co-op in Minneapolis, and will contain found-objects and recycled materials. They will be programmed and developed internally within our group, including help from local electrical-artist talents.

Visitors will be able to walk among the flower sculptures, and interact with them by way of two or more touch activated heart rate sensors. Visitors placing their hands on the heart rate sensors triggers the flower sculptures to respond with movement and lights. Pulses of light and motion will spread out in concentric waves from the location of the heart rate monitor. The wave is a reflection of the heartbeat of the visitor. Two or more people using heart rate monitors at the same time will see their wave interface with the other visitor, creating an algorithmic pattern. We will encourage people to experiment with activity to alter their heart rate and observe how the wave changes.

A park of movement, light, and wonder that will interact with its visitors. Daytime visitors will see the flower sculptures spring to life, moving their reflective leaves in the sunlight, and nighttime guests will see their interaction played out in lights.

SPark will update fans and citizens by way of social media. We also plan to create weekly time lapse video captures, interviews, and inside glimpses into the life of a ‘living’ art piece. These will be created by our Media Producer from onsite webcams and in person interviews. Videos will be posted on Youtube and linked to SParks social media sites. We recognize the limited mobility of many in the city and surrounding community and through this effort we hope to allow the message and wonder of SPark to reach a wider audience.

The underlying message of SPark is to illustrate the role that each individual or community plays in the makeup of a city. How we are all connected; we're in this together, and together we can create solutions to our larger goals. One person can make a difference, the individual can make waves just by participating in our vibrant community. We want to highlight the ecological ideals of Minneapolis by promoting self sufficient sustainability within communities. The use of recycled materials and solar energy

Team Bios

Will Peterson

Will is an archaeologist, firefighter, exhibit designer and historic researcher. His experience includes work with the Minnesota Historical Society 1968 Project, MN: Then Now Wow, various events at the history center. He has experience designing public spaces in agricultural areas.

Trygve Nordberg

Trygve is a programmer and interaction designer who creates technology driven installations in both academic and professional contexts. He earned a BFA in Interactive Media from Minneapolis College of Art and Design and has been awarded multiple awards for his interactive works. He is an MN State Parks evangelist, BWCA adventurer, and can often be found plucking an instrument atop a houseboat on the Upper Whitefish Chain.

Bill Ferenc

Bill Ferenc is an illustrator and graphic designer living in Minneapolis, and is a founding member of Big Table Studio. He received his BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and has done work for Fallon, Replace, Hamline University, and the City of St. Paul. He is highly active in the local arts and culture of the twin cities. His illustration and design work has been selected for gallery group exhibitions, and his poster artwork has been selected to be archived in the Minnesota Historical Society's print archive. He rides his bike on the green way and takes the light rail daily.

Melissa Gagner

Melissa Gagner is an artist and video production extraordinar. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in filmmaking at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She currently works as an Assistant Media Developer at the Minnesota Historical Society, she also does freelance work in the Twin Cities as well as volunteer work. A Minnesota native, Melissa has always wanted to tell in depth stories and inspire people with her work, especially in her home state.

 


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