2020 Theme: Game On!

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 May 30th, 2020.

Photos from 2019: BioZoom!

Workshops

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.

Announcing our 2018 Theme: The Digital Frontier

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.

Luminous Garden V2 Winter

[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.

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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 goes on the road

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.

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Flower of Power at Arts-a-Glow

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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.

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Mushrooms by Briar Bates at Lusio

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The crowd in the garden at Lusio

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Fountain

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Lighter than Air

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Sensor Mote Swarm at Lusio

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The Portal at Lusio

 

Fantastic event!

Note from Shelly Farnham, our event producer, to event attendees in the Facebook  on June 20:

FANTASTIC everyone I cannot thank you all enough. Despite the rain I left the event feeling it really couldn’t have gone better. I think, while the rain scared a few folks off, for those who stayed we probably were even more focused on our projects. The garden looked sooo beautiful! And the interpretive signs had just the right touch of humor. Thanks so much to everyone for really pulling it together!

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Adding Workshop: Crash Course in Cartooning

We are excited to announce that Jeremy Kayes will be hosting a workshop on Saturday, from 1-2pm.  Jeremy is both a web developer and a cartoonist, and has taught cartooning to designers and developers as a tool for story boarding their projects.  Come to the workshop and learn how cartooning can improve your life!

Workshop:  Cartooning Crash Course, 1pm-2pm.  Hosted by Jeremy Kayes.  A little bit of drawing skill can go a long way, no matter what you’re working on. If you can’t draw or can only draw stick figures, this workshop will ramp up your skill and confidence for getting your ideas down on paper.

 

Jeremy Kayes is the author of the graphic novel ‘The Indies’ and host of the comic artist club ‘Sicaga.’ He makes a living developing software and teaching engineers and researchers at UW how to use comics to illustrate their research.​ Learn more at http://jeremykayes.com.  Registration is not required.