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.

Thanks and Wrapping Up 2017

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.
Reactive Path

Reactive Path



creativity lab

creativity lab

CNC Workshop

CNC Workshop

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.


Time Vortex

Time Vortex

The Lordly Ones

The Lordly Ones

The Lordly Ones Closeup

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

Opening Night party

Electric Sky

Electric Sky

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

In the Lab

Life-long Learning and Mentorship

Life-long Learning and Mentorship

Path Lighting

Path Lighting

Borealis Break

Borealis Break

Here are some more photos shared by community members:
Shelly Farnham.
Jole Sack.
If you are excited by what you see, why wait until next year to get involved? Check out our community page.

Check out People and Projects in the Works

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.


Call for Participation: Wondering Woods

Sensor Mote Swarm

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.

Seeking Volunteers

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.

Luminous Garden V2 Winter

[crossposted on] 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 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.


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


Wrap up and Slides of the Luminous Garden at Electric Sky 2016

The Luminous Garden – an otherworldly garden biosphere, one with luminous flora and fauna and interactive kinetic sculptures — was a collaborative group installation at Electric Sky that helped to orient people’s projects during the event.  The design framework and insfruscture were provided by Recreational Light and Magic, a Totally Legit LLC.   It was funded in part by 4Culture, and sponsored by Third Place Technologies and the Town of Skykomish.

Please see our summary slideshow of the experience, which simulates taking a walk through the garden:


Our basic framework was to provide an overarching experiential design theme “taking a walk in an otherworldly garden arboretum”, and then recruit other artists, technologists, scientists, and designers to take on aspects of that theme, playing with technologically infused, interactive and self-illuminated organic objects or sculptural garden elements.

A primary goal was to foster interdisciplinary collaboration through a larger group installation, and we feel we were quite successful. We had 19 participating projects and over 80 artists, technologists, and designers actively collaborating, learning from each other and creating inspiring works.  It was very well received by locals in Skykomish at Electric Sky, and later enjoyed by thousands when installed later in the summer at Lusio (Volunteer Park) and  Arts-a-Glow (Burien).





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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