Reframe - CODAworx


Submitted by Black Unicorn Collective

Client: TEDxSalem

Location: Salem, OR, United States

Completion date: 2019

Artwork budget: $5,000

Project Team


Dr. Mary Edmonds

Black Unicorn Collective


The site specific, temporary installation must create a visual strategy to reflect the theme, “Re,” for TEDxSalem VI, be at least 30 feet in length, visible in the dark and fill a large ballroom at the Salem Convention Center. The installation must compliment the other speakers and performers throughout the conference without distraction. Materials: 500 yards fishing line, 67 yards PVC pipe, 4440 yards yarn, 600 yards wire, 200 yards mesh tubing, 100 yards programmable led lights, various electronic components. The installation was designed in three pieces approximately 10 feet wide by 4 feet tall by 3 feet deep.


The goals were to create a visually appealing installation that would reflect the theme, enhance the stage, complement other speakers and performers and transform a large room into a unique, atmospheric space. These were important goals because the audience is in the space for 8 hours and needs something that will hold interest without distraction.
These goals also fulfill the international TEDx Artist in Residence program criteria (incidentally written by Rebecca for TED) including support for artists to create a site specific installation that communicates the event theme and give a TEDx talk about their work and an idea worth spreading. After the event, the artist in encouraged to take their work out into the community for public display which is a core TEDx value.
“Reframe,” designed by Rebecca and Mary, was created to reflect the “Re” theme but also her talk, “Reframing the Journey,” which was about using art to recover from a mild traumatic brain injury. In addition to the three piece installation, they created a standing piece that was on stage during Rebecca’s talk. This piece was programmed to respond to Rebecca’s touch and trigger audible and inaudible sounds that enhanced her talk.


Installation creators, Rebecca Shapiro and Dr. Mary Edmonds, were notified in July 2018 that they would create the stage installation for TEDxSalem VI. Rebecca would also be the first speaker on January 5, 2019. They traveled from Portland to Salem multiple times throughout fall 2018 to design and implement the installation with the TEDxSalem team and producers. Because Rebecca has previous experience creating large scale installations, she and Mary were chosen to create this installation and acted as adjunct members of the planning/production team. As an experienced TEDx speaker, Rebecca worked with Mary and TEDxSalem to ensure her talk and the installation were well integrated for her talk but also enhanced the entire event.
Given freedom to choose the design and materials, Rebecca chose PVC pipe and yarn so the piece would be light and transportable. Mary created the custom coding for the addressable led light strips. Mary also programmed an inaudible solfeggio healing frequency into the standing piece for Rebecca’s talk. Together they decided on an abstract representation of neurons since Rebecca’s talk was about using art to recover from a mild traumatic brain injury.

Additional Information

We are very excited about this site specific installation! We enjoy creating temporary installations that bring people together for a positive, shared experience. Art is a gateway for us to connect, offering opportunities for awareness about ideas, other people and our surroundings, that we might not otherwise encounter or consider. Videos of Rebecca’s talk, the other speakers and performers will be available online in March 2019. Reframe was invited to be shown at the Portland Winter Lights Festival, February 7-9, 2019.