Sidewalk Harp

Submitted by Jen Lewin

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Project

Client: Be The Match

Location: Minneapolis, United States

Completion date: 2015

Project Team

Artist

Jen Lewin

Jen Lewin Studio

Industry Resource

Demiurge

Overview

Sidewalk Harp in Minneapolis, MN changes a city street and it's community through light and sound.

Goals

Sidewalk Harp is a permanent, outdoor interactive instrument in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the headquarters of the Be The Match Registry. The delicate shape is a reference to the human genome, paired with the activation and engagement which is a subtle reminder that coming together as a community along with The Be The Match Registry can change not only a moment or a day, but it can change lives. The Sidewalk Harp is played by passing your body through the 36 sensors capped with LEDs along the bottom of the 40-foot long stainless steel form. Much like plucking the string of a harp, passing through the sensors triggers custom circuitry and sensors to produce musical notes and LED colors. As the community gathers and plays together, they create a symphony of color that washes over the urban landscape. This act of engagement with others is just as much part of the art as the sculpture is itself.

Process

Sidewalk Harp was designed, programmed, and wired by Jen Lewin Studio with steel fabrication and installation by Demiurge, a Denver-based fabrication company. The sound a light palette was custom created over a series of months and fine tuned on site after installation with the commissioning body. This installation has been developed with the intention for future adjustments and programming, so that it will always be a collaboration with the city of Minneapolis.