Silicon Valley Karaoke / Daniel Schwartz

Commissioned by ZERO1, the San Jose Public Art Program, and the San Jose Stage Company, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the San Jose Downtown Association.

Silicon Valley Karaoke is a facade projection and mobile web application piece that will be presented as part of the ArtHERE program at the San Jose Stage Company (490 S. 1st Street) from September 13-15, 2012 starting at 8:30pm each evening.

The project aims to bridge the richness of Silicon Valley technology and arts cultures, and provides the seed for an ad hoc outdoor show to form outside the theater venue - where performances are usually inside - celebrating the great collaborative and communal spirit of Silicon Valley. Another primary goal for this piece is that for everyone that encounters or participates in Silicon Valley Karaoke 1.0 to have a big smile on their face after singing, dancing, viewing, and listening. Whichever role you play, your participating and contributing “user generated content.”

Silicon Valley Karaoke 1.0 is created entirely with open and/or free Web standards and technologies such as HTML5/CSS/JS, using code to create dynamic and animated graphics and visuals whenever possible over pre-produced imagers. Using such an approach is to demonstrate the power of such technologies and their artistic merits and allow the piece to be experienced as uniquely as possible each time. I use the “1.0” suffix because this is just the beginning of what this piece can be and my aspirations for what it can become. The songs selected for this piece encompass a variety of genres and popularity but all the artists are from the Bay Area to further showcase the richness of this region. I think people will be pleasantly surprised and proud that some of these artists are from these parts.

The piece is made in two main parts: A Web-based mobile application and accompanying visual presentations. The presentation aspect uses multiple projectors to present visuals for a particular song participants are singing: fun code-based animations, YouTube clips of karaoke singers for that song, lyrics, and artist bio. To engage with the artwork, participants will scan a QR code or enter in a short Web address to access the application on their mobile device. Here users can select a song to sing, view song lyrics, listen to a song, learn more about the artist, and even purchase the song. Everyone and anyone at anytime can jump in and sing, dance, and listen along to the music. The more the merrier just like in regular karaoke!

This project will be exhibited as 
part of the ArtHERE program at the 
San Jose Stage Company (490 S. 1st Street) 
from September 13-15, 2012
starting at 8:30pm daily

Daniel Schwartz

lives and works in San Francisco, CA

Artist website


Daniel Schwartz is an interaction designer and artist. He leads the user experience design for specific enterprise software products for a Silicon Valley company. He works in paint, html+javascript, photography, illustration, murals, and chocolate.