Project Socialites / Daniel Christopher, Aidan Seine, Ace Levenberg, and Levi Goldman

Commissioned by ZERO1 with support from the James Irvine Foundation

Project Socialites is an interactive, social art experience. It is a group adventure that leads participants through the Zero1 street fair to a central installation. Participants walk with glowing Orbs through the urban landscape of San Jose individually and collectively activating light and sound sculptures. While participants can experience aspects of the work individually, by maintaining proximity to other individuals with Orbs and visiting the sculptures together, participants can unlock light and sound sequences at a central installation.

Anyone can participate by gathering three mini-Orbs and bringing them to our distribution point. Mini-Orbs are randomly given to festival-goers, and individuals are encouraged to form groups by aggregating these smaller Orbs and trading them for larger, interactive ones. With a full-size Orb in possession, an individual or group ventures through the streets of San Jose in search of several sets of light sculptures. The object they carry triggers changes in emitted light and sound effects from networked sets of sculptures. Visiting and following these sculptures also effects the state of an Orb by changing color and pulse. After visiting all sites, an orb reaches a "fully charged" state and can stimulate the central installation. While participants can experience aspects of the work individually, only through collaboration with others can hidden media elements be unlocked.

Our project is open source, and we encourage other hobbyists and tinkerers to build their own Orb-like objects that can interact with our artwork. We will provide the source code and circuit schematics via our website.

September 15, 2012, 11am - 6pm
S. 1st Street (from San Carlos to Reed)
SoFA District, San Jose

Daniel Christopher, Aidan Seine, Ace Levenberg, and Levi Goldman

live and work in California, USA


Project Socialites is an interdisciplinary collaboration between recent UCSC Digital Arts and New Media (DANM) graduate Daniel Christopher, with computer science students Aidan Seine and Ace Levenberg, and expert mold-maker Levi Goldman (DANM ’11). The group has been working for one year to explore the potential for simple circuits to facilitate spontaneous, in-person social interactions.

Concept, Interaction Design, Fabrication: Daniel Christopher
Programming, Interaction Design, PCB design: Aidan Seine
Programming, Interaction Design: Ace Levenberg
Mold Design, Fabrication, Engineering: Levi Goldman