When San Francisco's head of Public Works came to the 2011 Urban Prototyping event, The Summer of Smart he made an interesting observation:
"Wherever I see graffiti, I don't see public art and wherever I see public art, I don't see graffiti".
For the participants at the event, this was easily fixed. All they had to do was create a 'dating app'! It would match building owners who had blank walls with artists in the local area, thereby cutting down on graffiti and promoting public art.
With this simple premise, a small team set about to create a web platform named 'Art Here'. Over one weekend they perfected their pitch and ended up being one of the five winning projects at the Summer of Smart.
It could have all stopped there, but with help from Gray Area Foundation for the Arts (GAFFTA) the group developed their idea, made an alliance with the non-profit Art and Technology Network Zero1 and have used their platform to launch art projects in Silicon Valley and San Jose. Now, San Francisco projects are in the pipeline.
One of the biggest problems with the Art Here concept was permitting. It was difficult for artists that used traditional mediums (namely paint) to get permission from the city to design and execute a public mural. For the moment, Art Here is getting around restrictions by nurturing relationships with artists and community innovators who use more ephemeral techniques - sound, visualizations, projections and temporary installations.
Art Here projects include a conversion of an unused shopfront into a temporary yoga studio, an augmented reality art piece on the lawns of the Palo Alto Arts commission and a digitally fabricated sculpture for the 'Liquid Agency'.
Post by Christine Outram
> Read the article in Fast Co Exist