Google Changes Our Perceptions of Art

May 13, 2015

Google Changes Our Perceptions of Art

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We’re taking a little break today from current social media and marketing trends to go back in time. It was about a year ago that TED was enjoying its 30th anniversary conference with speakers such as Bill Gates, Chris Hadfield and Isabel Allende. You know the TED we’re talking about – TED of TED Talks. Last year, the conference was moved to Vancouver, and, as TED’s website states, “We hope we’ve found a venue that can do even more to inspire creative thinking and dynamic ideas. And we’re sharing free TED webstreams with local schools and nonprofits, to help spark conversation among local communities.” You can read all about the conference here.

Google Changes Our Perceptions of Art

But webstreams weren’t the only way to get involved in the conference, at least, not if you happened to be in Vancouver at the time.

Google’s creative director Arron Koblin and artist Janet Echelman collaborated to create the first suspended and interactive sculpture, entitled Unnumbered Sparks. Made from ultralight fibers, the sculpture hung from one of Vancouver’s skyscrapers over the water and walkways near the Vancouver Convention Center where the TED conference was held.

Passersby connected to the sculpture through their tablet or smartphone. A special Wi-Fi connection automatically launched a browser app that prompted users to use their fingers on screen to create shapes and designs. These shapes and designs were then projected onto the sculpture in real time as colorful beams of light. Echelman stated, “For years I’ve been exploring how to let people to become part of the artwork, and now with Aaron’s interactive art, people can actually draw and paint with light and they become co-creators with us.”

Watch the effect of their work below:


Even more amazing than art which let viewers participate was the technology behind the suspended sculpture. The sculpture came to life through one very large Google Chrome window, which was stretched across the 300-foot sculpture using five high-definition projectors. Read more about Unnumbered Sparks here. 

Technology has changed the way we live, from social media, to e-newsletters, to garage door openers. Don’t close yourself to possibilities—you might just be creating the next Mona Lisa.

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