The Eyes of Ballston

Illumination Coalition (Branden Hall, Lola Lombard, Adam Eig, & Bardia Seedi)

"The truth, the first truth, probably, is that we are all connected, watching one another. Even the trees". -Arthur Miller

LED-lit eyes, hanging from the trees in Welburn Square, will come alive day and night with a flurry of colors, shapes and patterns. Signage posted around The Square will explain how a passersby can communicate with the trees through a mobile app. Each day, the app will pose new questions to entice participation (e.g., how are you feeling?). Participants can choose from the list of possible answers and as they do, the lights in the tree respond with a new pattern that reflects the mood of the participant.

When the tree listens to the participant direction, it reacts with animation. The eyes can dart, blink or cry, all in different colors and patterns. They will appear to be reacting to your emotions — sadness, joy, anticipation. They will sense the collective mood of what is happening in the square, and respond accordingly. Each tree will also have a personality, maybe a rebel, a slow tree, a fancy tree, etc. The participants can puppeteer the trees to be flirty, on edge, Zen like, clowning around or a number of other characteristics. All animations and shapes are an artistic abstraction of the reality.

Materials: 
LED screens, cable, raspberry pi processors, mobile app
Dates: 
October 2014- March 2014
Location: 
Welburn Square - 901 N Taylor Street
Branden Hall (Artist, electronics, software)

Branden Hall is an entrepreneur and artist working in the Washington, D.C. area. In 2006 he co-founded Automata Studios, a boutique software development studio that has created award winning work for clients such as Barnes & Noble, IBM, Microsoft and the Seattle Art Museum.  Branden's art has mainly focused on interactive light sculpture - complex electronic pieces featuring thousands of LEDs that encourage wonder, exploration, and play. His last two major pieces, "BlitterBike" and "Crypto Lotus" both received community art grants and have traveled to arts festivals across the United States.

Lola Lombard (Artist, concept design)

Lola Lombard’s artworks bring people together to learn, converse and dream. She has written and designed artworks and productions for Disney World, Cirque Du Soleil, events at the Kennedy Center, World Expo ’98, the National Children’s Museum and more. DC area families know her “Watermelophant,”  a 2003 DC Party Animal, her 2009 painted “Obama Inaugural Gown," and her recent participatory children’s book, “Zoopossible: Royal Kingdom.” Since 2001, kids have been delighting in her imaginative educational arts programs such as Left Noodle-Right Noodle and her signature expressive arts camp, Lola’s Laboratory. Lola is also an Arlington Arts Commissioner. www.lolalombard.com, lolaslab.com.

Adam Eig (artist, Fabricator)

Adam has always seen metals as beautiful, light, and organic, but discovered art and welding only after realizing he did not want to be a doctor. He instantly felt at home with steel, welders and torches, and began to create. With art, Adam could now fully express himself for the first time. He traveled the country and the world in pursuit of art and the beauty of life, until he decided to settle down a bit for a modicum of stability. He now works as a welder, and has put down roots in the District of Columbia.

Bardia Saeedi (Artist, Producer)

A veteran IT executive and a serial entrepreneur, Bardia became a full time artist and media producer in 2011 during his “self discovery” period, working at a plant nursery. His art career started with him making art installations with live plants, inspired by the vertical gardens of Patrik Blanc. He has mostly worked with found objects and has participated in local art exhibitions and festivals. More recently Bardia’s work has shifted towards participatory art. His work can be seen here (www.ebardia.com).

Partners: 
Piedmont Office Realty Trust

The Eyes of Ballston

Illumination Coalition (Branden Hall, Lola Lombard, Adam Eig, & Bardia Seedi)

"The truth, the first truth, probably, is that we are all connected, watching one another. Even the trees". -Arthur Miller

LED-lit eyes, hanging from the trees in Welburn Square, will come alive day and night with a flurry of colors, shapes and patterns. Signage posted around The Square will explain how a passersby can communicate with the trees through a mobile app. Each day, the app will pose new questions to entice participation (e.g., how are you feeling?). Participants can choose from the list of possible answers and as they do, the lights in the tree respond with a new pattern that reflects the mood of the participant.

When the tree listens to the participant direction, it reacts with animation. The eyes can dart, blink or cry, all in different colors and patterns. They will appear to be reacting to your emotions — sadness, joy, anticipation. They will sense the collective mood of what is happening in the square, and respond accordingly. Each tree will also have a personality, maybe a rebel, a slow tree, a fancy tree, etc. The participants can puppeteer the trees to be flirty, on edge, Zen like, clowning around or a number of other characteristics. All animations and shapes are an artistic abstraction of the reality.

Information:

Materials: LED screens, cable, raspberry pi processors, mobile app

Dates: October 2014- March 2014

Location: Welburn Square - 901 N Taylor Street

Sponsors and Partners:

Partners: Piedmont Office Realty Trust

Meet the Artists:

Branden Hall (Artist, electronics, software)

Branden Hall is an entrepreneur and artist working in the Washington, D.C. area. In 2006 he co-founded Automata Studios, a boutique software development studio that has created award winning work for clients such as Barnes & Noble, IBM, Microsoft and the Seattle Art Museum.  Branden's art has mainly focused on interactive light sculpture - complex electronic pieces featuring thousands of LEDs that encourage wonder, exploration, and play. His last two major pieces, "BlitterBike" and "Crypto Lotus" both received community art grants and have traveled to arts festivals across the United States.

Lola Lombard (Artist, concept design)

Lola Lombard’s artworks bring people together to learn, converse and dream. She has written and designed artworks and productions for Disney World, Cirque Du Soleil, events at the Kennedy Center, World Expo ’98, the National Children’s Museum and more. DC area families know her “Watermelophant,”  a 2003 DC Party Animal, her 2009 painted “Obama Inaugural Gown," and her recent participatory children’s book, “Zoopossible: Royal Kingdom.” Since 2001, kids have been delighting in her imaginative educational arts programs such as Left Noodle-Right Noodle and her signature expressive arts camp, Lola’s Laboratory. Lola is also an Arlington Arts Commissioner. www.lolalombard.com, lolaslab.com.

Adam Eig (artist, Fabricator)

Adam has always seen metals as beautiful, light, and organic, but discovered art and welding only after realizing he did not want to be a doctor. He instantly felt at home with steel, welders and torches, and began to create. With art, Adam could now fully express himself for the first time. He traveled the country and the world in pursuit of art and the beauty of life, until he decided to settle down a bit for a modicum of stability. He now works as a welder, and has put down roots in the District of Columbia.

Bardia Saeedi (Artist, Producer)

A veteran IT executive and a serial entrepreneur, Bardia became a full time artist and media producer in 2011 during his “self discovery” period, working at a plant nursery. His art career started with him making art installations with live plants, inspired by the vertical gardens of Patrik Blanc. He has mostly worked with found objects and has participated in local art exhibitions and festivals. More recently Bardia’s work has shifted towards participatory art. His work can be seen here (www.ebardia.com).