About this project
We are seeking backers for FIELD - a public art installation in Ackery's Alley, an activated alleyway in downtown Vancouver.
We know that interactive public spaces are the key to igniting human connection, and we need your help to transform 'Ackery's Alley' into a place for public art and performance in downtown Vancouver.
We are seeking backers to help fund FIELD, a permanent, interactive public art installation by renowned international artist, Alex Beim, of Tangible Interaction. Beim’s light + sound field will have a field of sensors that detect the presence of a person, changing colours and emitting sounds in reaction to movement. FIELD will work like a large musical and light instrument that creates a unique composition every time someone moves through it.
With its potential for constant reinvention, FIELD in Ackery’s Alley taps into the basic human instincts to play and explore.
What else will happen in the Alley?
FIELD will be the focal point when Ackery’s Alley launches, but we’re also creating a space where public performances, activations, and other art installations can happen. We’ll be dressing up the alley with red velvet paint, artful signage, gold paneling, reflective metals, vertical projection walls, and a 10-foot diameter white inflatable beacon orb. Once complete, the alley will be a public space for experimentation and social connection.
Historical note: our alley’s namesake, Ivan Ackery, was Vancouver’s most famous impresario (yep…we had to look it up, too).
Why is this project important?
Happy, healthy cities are ones where people feel connected to each other. Interactive public spaces can help foster this connection. In densified urban environments the way to create this space is to rethink existing ones. Commercial alleys have huge potential to become this. Ackery’s Alley can be a catalyst for people around the world who want to create their own interactive city projects and alleyways. In fact, we want people from around the world to contact us and ask: how did you do it? We’ll gladly share our templates with backers and let them know what we’ve learned in hopes of encouraging others to imagine the possibilities for their own alleys.
Who are we?
We are More Awesome Now - a collective of thinkers and doers who reshape underutilized urban Iand spaces into engaging, accessible public spaces. Our group includes the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA), HCMA Architecture + Design, and we are in partnership with Vancouver Civic Theatres and the City of Vancouver’s VIVA Vancouver program.
In 2015 the DVBIA conducted Re-Imagine Downtown Vancouver 2040, a collaborative visioning process. The desire for more public spaces of every scale, including rooftop patios, animated laneways, and large public squares, was a major theme that emerged from the process.
About our other projects
Our quest to create engaging public spaces starts with the city’s most underutilized spaces: commercial alleyways. Last year we reshaped our first alleyway: Alley-Oop. Alley-Oop is in the heart of the business district, so we themed it “play” and installed basketball hoops and futsal courts to spark interaction. Alley-Oop has won some big awards and the community’s response to it has far exceeded our expectations. But the greatest part? We learned that if you create a space and give people permission to use it in non-traditional ways, they’ll make it their own.
We’re just getting started. Our big dream is for the concept of reclaimed alleyways to catch fire and take on a life of its own. We hope that one day our city – and cities around the world – will have a connected system of colourful alleys that are places of human connection.
About the artist, Alex Beim
The artist behind our interactive sound + light field is Alex Beim of Tangible Interaction. Beim creates sensory installations where people participation is key. His work blends graphic, industrial, and audio design as well as programming and electronics engineering. He has collaborated with the likes of Blue Man Group, Arcade Fire, Coldplay, Chemical Brothers, and the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
As our cities densify, we’re all yearning for greater human connection. We believe the Kickstarter community will understand the critical role public space plays in fostering connection and social exchange. We hope our project inspires members of the Kickstarter community to try something similar in their own cities.
What will your contributions support?
We need the Kickstarter community’s help to secure and install the most awesome and engaging part of Ackery’s Alley – the sound and light field. We’ve already done the planning, built partnerships, and raised funds to cover the cost of setting the stage with signage, paint, cladding, lighting, wayfinding orbs, and projection walls. Now we just need help with this critical social exchange art piece.
It isn’t often that you can say, “I did that!” while standing in/on/at/beside a Vancouver landmark. Luckily, More Awesome Now have been working hard behind the scenes so you actually CAN say this. (At the top of your lungs, with smoke signals, in sign language, on Instagram – whichever is your preferred method of communication – we won’t judge.)
By backing FIELD, you can also grab an awesome reward related to Ackery's Alley.
Fancy a More Awesome Now tote bag? Limited edition poster? An interpretive dance? We've got it all! Thank you for your support.
Risks and challenges
We’re confident that we’ll be able to deliver rewards within six-nine months. Scheduling the in-person rewards might take a little back and forth, but we don’t think that’s a problem.
Given that our project will be created in a public space (and an alley that also has day-to-day commercial uses), we can’t control everything that happens in that space. This means we don’t have total control of the project timeline and the installation process. To address this, we are creating great partnerships with Vancouver Civic Theatres and the City of Vancouver’s VIVA Vancouver program, local businesses, and other alley stakeholders who can help us move things forward. We’ve opened lines of communication, planned well in advance, and have worked extra time into our construction schedule for anything unforeseen. We are also realistic that we’ll be placing our art piece in an open, public area. We’re working with the artist to ensure the piece will be resistant to weather elements and vandalism, and we have a process in place to address repairs, if required.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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- (30 days)