Connection Makes a Difference
An interactive installation I did for ACCESS – a fundraiser event, in support of the Art Access Fund, which in their words is: “a charitable organization dedicated to providing high quality arts training to young people, who would otherwise not have the opportunity to pursue artistic excellence under the guidance of professional artists”. You can check out their website here: www.artsaccessfund.org
The installation was intended as a means of encouraging donations during the Access event. In the end more than six thousand dollars from installation alone were received in the span of a couple of hours.
Since the piece was on a very low budget, I experimented and ended up making my own electrically conductive paint, stretched my own canvases and soldered about a 100 light pieces/buttons which were constructed out of.. buttons, leds, resistors, cheap magnets and wires.
A battery at the back of the canvas was connected to multiple circuits flowing to the sides and the front of the painting. The circuits would be open until a connection is made through the light buttons. Hidden magnets at the back of the canvas would hold the light buttons in place and keep the lights on. The idea of the piece was exactly that – I intended to emphasize that by connecting, physically making an effort, one could create a difference in the world – one can bring a little bit of extra joy in a child’s life through art.
As with all prototypes, trial and error was an essential part of the design process. For example, I discovered that the conductivity of my paint was better on a raw canvas than on a gesso-ed one – which made it into a different kind of painting than I had originally imagined. Also, I randomly found copper tape – while looking for something else – and really liked how it looked in combination with the black. I initially wanted to make the whole back magnetic, but using only a single magnet at a specific place proved more efficient. Another fun thing was having to use super bright leds, since they were the only ones which were blue enough for my intentions.
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