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.
Save your spot! Registration is required for anyone spending the night to save your camp spot. If you are just there for the day or for the Saturday night show, registration is not required.
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
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.
In the Lab
Life-long Learning and Mentorship
Here are some more photos shared by community members:
If you are excited by what you see, why wait until next year to get involved? Check out our community page
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.)
You can add yourself and your project(s) to the community and join the conversation by requesting to join ArtsTechNW.
Sensor Mote Swarm
Call for Artists & Tech Creatives “Wondering Woods” Grant Proposals
We our focusing this years’ group collaboration around the theme “The Wondering Woods”. Help us explore the question: what if the trees could talk? What if the forest was a living, conscious, interactive being? We have small grants (200$-1000$) and free tickets to support participating creatives. If interested, please learn more about the theme and check out our application. Due date is May 1st.
Seeking Workshop Proposals
What would you like to learn? What would you like to share? If you want to propose a workshop please email shelly at totallylegitllc dot com.
Get involved! We are looking for help with our group meal, signs, promotion, reception, opening party bar, path layout, and so forth. You’ll meet great people, and active volunteers get a free ticket! please email shelly at totallylegitllc dot com to ask about how you might want to volunteer.
We are very excited to announce our third Electric Sky will be in the Skykomish Ball Park this summer June 8-11th. Can’t wait to see you all there!
[crossposted on recreationallightandmagic.com] Our Luminous Garden project was so popular this summer we adapted the group installation to be an indoor show, displayed the winter of 2016/2017 at the Vermillion Art Gallery and Bar, and in the Skykomish Maloney Store. The theme was “taking a walk in an otherworldly garden”. At the Maloney Store, we had a pop-up maker lab in the back of the show, so we could continually add new pieces to the show over the course of the month.
Mentioned by the Seattle Times
More photos on flickr
Time Lapse Video
Participating Artists and Technology Creatives
Andy Tomacelli :: Beanne Hull :: Bee Wilkerson :: Ben Flaster :: Betsy Morris :: Brad Traynoff :: Bryan Ressler :: Chis D’Annunzio :: David Hull :: Greg Larson :: Jeff Larson :: Josh Lind :: Lea Willingham :: Marz :: Nicole Kistler :: Sarah Lavin :: Shelly Farnham
This show is an evolving, large-scale collaborative installation that originally emerged from Electric Sky 2016.
We were very excited to be able to bring the Luminous Garden for a one month show back to the town of Skykomish in the historic Maloney Store. It was a great way to engage with the locals who weren’t able to check it out this summer or while it was in Seattle. We even had the local school students visit for an impromptu workshop.
Thanks very much to the town of Skykomish for letting us have the show in the Maloney Store!
The Luminous Garden, originally created for Electric Sky, went on the road this summer, with appearances at Lusio in Volunteer Park and at Arts-a-Glow at Burien. Since Electric Sky is a smaller event (more of an artists’ retreat and exhibition for locals in the Sky Valley), this was a great opportunity to share the experience with a much broader audience. Thousands of people have now walked through our otherworldly garden, and by all appearances it has been very well received! Thanks to the producers of Lusio and Arts-a-Glow for the opportunity to share this work.
Flower of Power at Arts-a-Glow
Sensor Mote Swarm at Arts-a-Glow
You will also find the garden at a winter, indoor installation at the Vermillion, an art gallery and bar in Capitol Hill, in Seattle. Keep your eyes open for posts about that event in December.
Mushrooms by Briar Bates at Lusio
The crowd in the garden at Lusio
Lighter than Air
Sensor Mote Swarm at Lusio
The Portal at Lusio