Experiencing something where it was meant to be experienced is a beautiful thing. Leav makes this possible.
Mobile technology has ensured that you can listen to music or watch video anywhere, yet this encourages people to ignore the world around them. You lose the connection to surroundings. You lose the power of place.
We want to change that.
Andy posed the idea first: the technology that’s available to us every day should link the digital world more powerfully with our physical surroundings. Art and location connect in a powerful way. In a gallery, at an outdoor art installation, a play in an historical theatre, or a show at a dive bar, your environment affects your experience. Friends Joey, Bobby, and Erik agreed that the world around us is worth paying attention to, so we formulated a plan to create technology that reinvigorates the possibilities of linking art and place in the digital era.
In 2013, with the generous support of the New Media Grant from the IFP MN and the McKnight Foundation, we assembled a group of artists, producers, and programmers to create a mobile platform for Minneapolis and St. Paul that connects digital art with the world around it. We call it Leav.
When we talk about Leav, we say it is many things. It’s a new and entirely unique platform for art. It’s a way for people to get out and experience their world using only their phone and their five senses. It’s a way for technology to help connect us to our physical surroundings, not isolate and detach us. In fact, probably the easiest way to say it is, Leav connects. It connects people, and it does this using one of the oldest forms of human communication: art.
How It Works
Leav uses your phone’s GPS to uncover art that has been placed in deliberate locales and scenarios. For example, a citywide symphony whose disparate parts drift in and out depending on which city street you're on, or a short film viewable only at dusk in a particular tree-filled park in December. Factors like location, time, temperature, direction, and speed of travel can dynamically interact with a piece’s unique qualities and accessibility, in turn changing your own perspective with each new work of art you visit.
When you first open Leav, you’ll see a map indicating pieces of art available in your area. There will be music, visual art, dance, and literature pieces available on day one in Minneapolis/St. Paul, with further work available in other cities in the future. Each work is commissioned specifically for Leav and designed to take advantage of the connection between content and surroundings that the platform provides.
What Leav Does for Artists and Organizations
Leav encourages creators to rethink how people interact and engage with the places where they live, work, and play. Artists design their work with custom parameters unique to each piece, enabling them to reach audiences in powerful and unexpected ways that cannot be duplicated.
What Leav Does for Everyone
At its simplest, Leav is a way to enhance your daily experience using the one thing you always have with you: your phone. Neither digital nor physical, the Leav experience uncovers beauty not otherwise possible and changes the way you interact with the world. It’s intuitive and uncomplicated, allowing you singular access to novel dimensions of expression.
The Inaugural Artists and Their Work
For the launch of Leav, we’ve engaged with a group of Minneapolis/St. Paul-based artists to create a series of inaugural works that populate the city environment. Our artist partners include:
- City Pages 2012 Artist of the Year, musician Holly Hansen of Zoo Animal.
- Acclaimed Twin Cities singer-songwriter Chris Koza of Rogue Valley.
- Choreographer and City Pages 2004 Artist of the Year Stuart Pimsler.
- Visual artist Kate Casanova, City Pages 2013 Artist of the Year.
Together the Leav artists are using the platform to stretch their own creative work and enrich the Twin Cities community in unique ways. Holly Hansen’s creating a site sensitive narrative and music experience to be timed with church bells, while Chris Koza is writing a musical composition that evolves as you move around the city and changes based on location, time of day, speed of travel, and other factors. Stuart Pimsler is choreographing a site specific dance film in various locations, and Kate Casanova is working on an audio/visual collage inspired by chimney sweeps and the flight and nesting patterns of chimney swifts.
How You Can Help
This is where you come in. We want you to use Leav. Tell your friends about it. Go out in your city and experience your surroundings in a way you never have before. But we also need your financial help. With the Kickstarter funds, we plan to work with 15 new artists in their respective cities to create more content and increase Leav’s footprint by the end of 2014.
$5 pledge level: Any amount that you can give to the Leav project will go towards commissioning artists and funding future versions of the app. For $5, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you contributed to a worthwhile project, and you will receive personal thanks for your donation from the Leav team via our website.
$10 pledge level: There are two $10 levels:
A pledge of the $10 level will get you a download code for Departure EP from Zoo Animal, plus a thank you from the Leav team via our website.
Along with a thank you from the Leav team via our website, a pledge of the $10 level will get you a download code for False Floors from Rogue Valley.
$25 pledge level: Leav is offering an early bird special for the first 50 ticket buyers. For $25, you'll receive one of the first 50 tickets to the Leav Launch Event. This level gets you everything in the $30 level, plus an extra five bucks in your pocket.
$30 pledge level: For a $30 pledge, you get a ticket to the Leav Launch Event at a secret location in Minneapolis, MN with Chris Koza, Holly Hansen, Kate Casanova, Stuart Pimsler, and other special guests. There will also be exclusive content published to Leav at the event location that will only be available that night. This event will be 18+ and will take place on June 14th, 2014.
$50 pledge level: The $50 pledge level will get you one ticket to the Leav Launch Event as well as the Leav bundle of goodies. The Leav bundle includes both a download code for The Bookseller's House by Rogue Valley and a download code for Departure by Zoo Animal as well as a drink ticket for a beverage of your choice at the Launch.
$75 pledge level: For $75, you'll get the $50 level times two -- one for you and one for a friend. Just like the previous level, you'll get a Leav bundle of a download code for The Bookseller's House by Rogue Valley and Departure by Zoo Animal and drinks ticket for beverages for you and your guest.
$100 pledge level: This pledge level gets you two VIP tickets to the Leav Launch Event. You'll get to schmooze with the inaugural artists and Leav team at a meet and greet before the event begins! You'll also get the Leav bundle for two drink tickets and download codes from Leav artists.
$200 pledge level: For $200, you'll get everything from the $100 level, plus one of a limited run of 30x25 inch Kate Casanova prints. These are highly sought after prints from an artist on the rise. Trust us. You will want one.
$300 pledge level: With a $300 pledge, you get everything included in the $200 level, including the Kate Casanova print, as well as a lunch with the Leav team. We'll talk about whatever you want--our project, your project, the weather. It's up to you. We'll pick up the tab. This offer is tentatively limited to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. People outside the area should contact us to negotiate travel, lodging, etc.
$500 pledge level: Along with two VIP tickets, the Leav bundle, and a Kate Casanova print, the $500 pledge level will get you a private tour of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Leav content with the team. You'll get exclusive behind the scenes insights into the building of the app and the creation of the art featured in the launch.
$1,000 pledge level: This level is great for groups and organizations. At the $1000 pledge level, the Leav team will come to you to present an Interactive New Media Seminar. You'll also receive up to 20 tickets for your group to attend the Leav launch event. This offer is tentatively limited to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. People outside the area should contact us to negotiate travel, lodging, etc.
$5,000 pledge level: For $5000, you will get to work with the Leav team to add artwork to the app. Works could be anything from literature, to audio, video, photography, images, or multimedia. The Leav team will work with you and/or artists of your choice to complete your vision and ensure that it fits with the surroundings and existing works of Leav. This level also comes with two VIP tickets to the Launch Event, a print from Kate Casanova, and a Leav bundle.
$10,000 pledge level: For this extremely generous pledge, the Leav team will work with you and four or five local artists to bring Leav to your city! This is your chance to experience the power of place where you live. Artists from your town will create works of art that exist solely in your surroundings, establishing the world of Leav for your community to participate in and enjoy.
Coming to iPhone in summer 2014. Android to follow.
Risks and challenges
Leav is a large project with many moving parts. The belief that it would proceed from concept to launch without unforeseen technical challenges would be shortsighted. To face these challenges head on, Six Impossible Things has contracted with experienced developers, project managers, and quality assurance engineers. The technology team carries 50+ years of software development experience and is implementing an Agile Development method to iterate towards Leav’s completion.
Beyond technical challenges, Leav’s curated environment requires filling it with powerful, meaningful work. Content production, especially good content production, is not a trivial task. Active artists, musicians, producers, and writers themselves, the Six Impossible Things team brings robust experience in web, print, and broadcast publication and production as well as arts management. We have, and will continue to, work hand in hand with artists from concept through final production and placement of their work, working individually with each commissioned artist to embrace the strengths and uniqueness of Leav, and navigate the challenges of creating for a new interactive platform.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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