Summary of the Interactive Art Project

I posted the pictures of the previously outlined project on interactive art to my Flickr stream, I would have posted them directly here, but my blogging software is misbehaving. For your convenience, I will also link them individually below, followed by a brief write up of my impressions from the event.

The sign for the event: as you can see, no expense was spared, though this also served a secondary function of keeping the atmosphere of the even informal, which we concluded would be more inductive to participation.

The following two were taken at the end of the evening, thus show the partially completed project (though the art will be replaced at the next attempt at the project:

The original project wall: The original wall was two sheets of cardboard, but these filled up rather quickly. Also the participants were unwilling, to a degree to arrange the work for space, or to post pictures on farther areas, so some manual readjustment was needed by the organizers.

The overflow wall: Towards the middle of the five hour event the space on the original surface was pretty much full, so we needed to move to a sign advertising an up coming proposition on the ballot.

I wrote up an unofficial reaction on my LiveJournal page, but will try add some further reactions here, later. As I stated in the unofficial write-up, the event was so overwhelming, and contrary to expectations that grasping its full import is difficult. Needless to say, the event was a smashing success, with over 125 participants in roughly 5 hours, even with an ad hoc set-up.

The amount of actual appreciation was mind-boggling, with individuals not participating in the even taking time out to thank us for our idea. At one point in time people started admiring the actually display or works itself, acting very much like they were in a gallery, examining individual works, stepping back and admiring the whole, and discussing the work with others.. At this moment the display became ART itself, and not merely a collection of public created art. this was overwhelming, to say the least.

Also the fact that all age groups, from approx. 4 to approx. 75 participated, as well as individuals of all skill levels, and levels of artistic experience, from children to people established in the Phoenix art community. Another thing that struck me as important was the fact that this display was unique in not discriminating or demarcating art of various talents, the 4 year old's piece could sit next to the established older artist's with no overt or external markers differentiating them. This is something, I feel, that was unique, at least to the local community.

Part of the success of the project was owed to two factors, the first of which was that we were the only free activity in the full Art Walk, and the only activity asking for artistic participation as opposed to spectatorship. It gave individuals a chance to actually participate in the event.

As that this was a prototype of the idea, or a proof of concept, we will be setting up for the next First Friday in Phoenix, with a modified set-up, and a more prominent placement to see what limits we run into (outside of technical) in the allotted time. After this, several variations of the communal art idea are in the works, thanks to rabid outside interest and involvement.

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