Client: Tech in the Tenderloin
Location: San Francisco, CA, United States
Completion date: 2021
Artwork budget: $75,000
Lead 3D Artist
This award winning, interactive, Augmented Reality (AR) Placemaking experience, located in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco, recreates a playful version of the world famous Black Hawk Jazz Club and serves as a virtual art, music and history gallery for local youths, artists and musicians. Using their own mobile phones, park goers can discover neighborhood stories, artworks and musical compositions while experiencing what “The Hawk” was like back in the day.
This project was awarded multiple 2021 VEGA awards for Augmented Reality, Culture, Service, and Innovation.
Live at the Black Hawk elevates the Tenderloin’s legacy of innovation and inclusion to shift the public narrative about the role and place of this challenging, underappreciated neighborhood in one of the world’s most innovative and prestigious cities.
Presented in partnership with Tech in the Tenderloin, the project showcases the work of local youths, artists and musicians while also connecting low-opportunity youth and families with high-opportunity tech through digital art, music, storytelling and tech workshops.
Live at the Black Hawk combines Placemaking techniques, Collective Memory practice, and Augmented Reality (AR) to reconnect local residents, youths and visitors with the Tenderloin neighborhood's pivotal place in San Francisco's past, present and future. Designed and created by Novaby, the experience is powered by Augmented City's cutting-edge computer vision and AR Cloud technology.
Novaby partnered with Tech in the Tenderloin and the Boys and Girls Club to provide AR workshops for local youths. The billboards on the exterior of the Black Hawk that historically told of upcoming live acts were repurposed as interactive audio-visual storyboards. Through field trips, research and digital art lessons, the youths created original illustrations and designed neighborhood histories and stories they wanted to tell.
Local professional artists were invited to create original, jazz-inspired artworks for the interior art gallery. The local non-profit Jazz Education Ensemble created the first original soundtrack. The experience will host rotating exhibits by neighborhood and Bay Area youths, artists and musicians.
Live at the Black Hawk recreates the Tenderloin's world-famous Black Hawk Jazz Club that sat at the corner of Turk and Hyde streets in the heart of the Tenderloin. "The Hawk" attracted world-class talent from 1949 to 1963. Jazz greats like Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Dizzy Gillespie played to packed houses, experimented with new sounds and recorded some of their best works. Local legend Dave Brubeck considered The Black Hawk his musical home. Here, his quartet infused their sound with foreign rhythms in new and innovative ways leading to one of the top selling jazz albums of all time. The Hawk was renowned as a socially-progressive, racially-inclusive club, even providing a dedicated, alcohol-free listening area where underage patrons could gather to learn about jazz and feel the vibe. Located in Boedekker Park, the Park provides much-needed space for relaxation, recreation and exercise for Tenderloin residents - many of whom live in dormitory style, SROs (single room occupancy units). The Park is a safe, welcoming place popular with local youths, schools and kids ranging from 3 to 103.