We have pushed this event to the end of August hoping King County will be in at least Phase 3, which allows for events up to 50 people.
Anticipating we may be in only Phase 3, we are planning for a smaller version of this event this year, capping attendance at 50 people.
Since the event is outdoors we do not anticipate it will be difficult to maintain social distancing across camps. The lab, workshops and group meal will be modified as needed to assure people may safely participate in compliance with King County’s recommendations for the current phase.
If we are not in at least Phase 3, the event will be cancelled. In this case all tickets will be reimbursed. We will work with a venue to host a winter version of the show, so you may still show off your amazing projects.
For Electric Sky 2020, our collaborative installations, workshops, and art show will be oriented around the theme “Game On!”. We will explore the art and tech of games, with everything that goes into playful interactivity, ranging from the buttons, switches, and buzzers of electro-mechanical machines, to the 3D art of immersive reality.
How it Works
For our group installations, we provide a basic framework around the theme, and then recruit artists, technologists, scientists, and designers to take on aspects of that theme, playing with technologically-infused, sensing, interactive and self-illuminated sculptural elements.
In the style of hackathons, you may bring your own piece to work on, you may join other emergent collaborations, or you may just show up to enjoy the show.
Participating artists and technology creatives may include light, sound, video, performance, landscaping, architectural elements, in addition to visual art, however all projects should incorporate an electronic, sensing, interactive, or self-illuminated component.
Apply for a Microgrant or Free Tickets
If you are excited by the idea of creating an individual or collaborative project around our theme “Game On!” but do not have the funds for tickets or material supplies, we invite you to apply to be a supported participating artist or creative technologist, to receive funds up to $500 and free tickets to support your project. Learn more about our requirements and find instructions to apply here. Application date is Friday, July 17th, 2020.
These microgrants are made possible through a grant by 4Culture.
We had a great turn out for our workshops, including “Solar Powered LEDs for Art in Trees”, “ASKXXI Digital Field-based Methods in Botanical Illustration“, and “Nature Kaleidoscope Making”. Thanks so much for our Workshop hosts for organizing these learning opportunities!
Creativity Lab / Hackathon
As always, the lab and the surrounding picnic benches were filled with creative efforts as people geared up to our group show!
Group Art Show
Our group show had a compelling mix of art around our “BioZoom” theme — focusing in or telescoping out into the magic of nature.
Camping and Socializing
Of course, people were also there to have fun camping with friends in the beautiful Skykomish Ballpark in the Cascade Mountains.
We are happy to confirm our 2019 Electric Sky will be Thu-Sun, July 25-28th, and our collaborative installations will be oriented around the theme “Bio Zoom”. It will be a year of art, tech and science, and we invite you to explore how changing perspectives –whether through a microscope or a telescope — exposes the beautiful, abstract, often fractal, repeating patterns of the universe.
Our fourth Electric Sky was a swimming success, and we can’t thank everyone enough for all their great participation in making this special event happen! Be sure to check out our slides from 2018 to get a sense for what it was like.
For Electric Sky 2018, our collaborative installation will be oriented around the theme “The Digital Frontier”, celebrating the pioneering spirit of those who push the bounds of possibility by innovating on the frontier of technology.
For this group installation, our basic framework is to provide an overarching design theme “Explore recurring historical themes of human progress on the frontiers of innovation, layering the past with the future”, and then recruit artists, technologists, scientists, and designers to take on aspects of that theme, playing with technologically-infused, sensing, interactive and self-illuminated sculptural elements. Learn more about the Digital Frontier here.
Call for Participation — Apply for a Microgrant!
If you are excited by the idea of creating an individual or collaborative project around our theme “the Digital Frontier” we invite you to apply to be a supported participating artist or creative technologist, to receive free tickets and funds to support your project. Participating artists and technology creatives may include visual art, sound, video, performance, landscaping, architectural elements, and so forth, however all projects should incorporate an electronic or interactive component consistent with the theme. Learn more about our requirements and find instructions to apply here. Application date is April 30th, 2018.
Please note that Electric Sky is designed as a cross between a hackathon and an artists’ retreat, so it is a great place to incubate new work in our Creativity Lab, with the help and expertise of fellow artists and creative technologists. We strongly encourage you to participate whether or not you apply for a grant. This is the place to explore very experimental projects that you are still figuring out.
Each year, we orient our collaborative projects around a theme. This year, that theme is “The Digital Frontier”, celebrating the pioneering spirit of those who push the bounds of possibility by innovating on the frontier of technology.
Our basic framework is to provide an overarching design theme “Explore recurring historical themes of human progress on the frontiers of innovation, layering the past with the future”, and then recruit artists, technologists, scientists, and designers to take on aspects of that theme, playing with technologically-infused, sensing, interactive and self-illuminated sculptural elements.
As a central orienting piece for the larger group collaboration, we will create three to-scale facades of historic frontier buildings similar to those in the town of Skyomish, with a boardwalk animated by controllable LEDS and the facade surfaces animated with projected videos of life-sized “ghosts” of pioneering figures. The goal is to create the experience of walking on the boardwalk with these historical figures in a “digital frontier” – where the audience participant becomes a part of the community of innovators along the walk. Please see concept design.
In the past two years our group projects focused on leveraging technology as a creative medium to create life-like interactivity embedded in nature. In brainstorming for 2018, we decided to engage more with the history of Skykomish as a frontier town, and turn our attention to the transformative impact humans have on nature as they expand new frontiers through technology. We seek to layer new creative technologies for innovation such as controllable LEDs, laser cutters, and projection mapping, over turn of the century technologies such as trains and telegraphs, to evoke an awareness and interest in the recurring historical themes of human progress on the frontier. We further seek to celebrate the intrepid spirit of pioneers who have created new territories for exploration and human progress in the Pacific Northwest over the past century, and will continue to do so in years to come.
This years’ Electric Sky was a resounding success and we cannot thank everyone enough for your active participation! (For more imagery, check out our summarizing slide show or see our video).
Our primary goal with this event is to foster the community of creatives at the intersection of art and technology in the Pacific Northwest – building collaborative relationships, developing best practices, engaging in life-long learning, and inspiring new innovation. Our secondary goal is to share the art generated by the event with the public, and in particular with the small rural communities of the Skykomish River valley.
This year we organized our collaborative efforts around the “Wondering Woods” theme, exploring what if the woods could talk? What if they can sense you and respond? As a part of this effort we hosted a pre-event workshop instructing artists and tech creatives how to use sensors, and at the event we had a CNC router workshop and a project-based workshop for kids to engage with the environment and integrate sound into a group installation. We also hosted an open creativity lab to encourage emergent on-site collaboration in the style of hackathons. A total of 71 art and tech creatives attended, including 12 kids, and 40-50 visitors from the region came to our opening night party.
The Lordly Ones
The Lordly Ones Closeup
This was our third year, and thanks in large part to our grant from 4Culture, which we used to fund new projects, we observed the depths of the interdisciplinary collaborations and the quality of the art achieve a new level. Electric Sky is evolving into not only an art and tech retreat, but a new works incubator. We are very happy to report that we have been invited as a collective to return to both Lusio and Arts-a-Glow to share our Wondering Woods installation with thousands more in Seattle and Burien.
Opening Night party
Do you want to see more? Check out our summarizing slide show.
Part I shows overview of the Electric Sky event, and Part II shows the “Wondering Woods” art.
Some of the art was animated, interactive, or included sound, so we made a 2-minute video with some highlights. See our video.
Electric Sky is shaping up to be fabulous event! Find our lists of participating people and projects in the ArtsTechNW Spokin community. (Spokin is our networking tool for creative, collaborative communities.)