A gigantic THANK YOU to all of MyPhoneHenge backers! After many long hours, the art was completed on time for BIG(D)ESIGN 2012. Electronics, media, and lots of metal hardware, and my heart and brains went into this art. Making something that topped MyFavoriteMachine in scale and magnitude in every way was challenging, but we managed to pull it off. It was a huge hit!
Transporting it to the event was done by me, with help from my #2 son, a pallet jack, and a truck with a hydraulic lift. Due to their size and weight of the pieces and a limited setup window, my goal was to move them mostly assembled from my studio to the location. Keeping them intact would save time, labor, and avoid some of the risk of something going wrong during final assembly on site where tools were limited. And since cranking up a welder or a noisy grinder in a hotel lobby would be out of the question, everything needed to be absolutely right before it went into the truck. Only the electronics were hauled separately to be installed on site along with the steel icons. The large monitors and the steel icons were carefully boxed along with all of the electronics hardware and cables, etc. It filled the truck to capacity!
An unexpected challenge emerged when we arrived at the hotel. Though we had verified the loading dock and freight elevator in advance, we soon discovered that the only path between the large ample spaced loading dock and equally generously sized freight elevator was strangely through the hotel kitchen which involved a narrow corridor only 36 inches wide. Who thought that was a good idea? I’d like to have a word with them. Well, it was a very tight squeeze and some floor molding that looked plenty scraped up already got scraped even more, but in the end, the score was: belveal art: 5 and kitchen corridor: zero. We pallet-jacked the monoliths in place and began assembling.
The process was very physical and I got more sweaty than you would care to hear about, but the art parts all went together exactly according to plan and MyPhoneHenge made its debut to a crowd of conference early birds and trade show exhibitors. Onlookers immediately gathered around asking questions and wanting to touch the art pieces, which I gladly welcomed. When the inquirers faded, I continued fine-tuning the audio and video and interactive elements into the evening for the large crowd that would arrive the next morning.
The next two days were the fun part. Getting to stand of in the background and watch people’s reactions to the art was such a kick. Everyone is a child, exploring this set of monoliths of steel resembling familiar things in a totally unexpected motif. Objects coming out from behind the glass inhabiting our world is a surprise that pleases unexpectedly. It satisfies an unarticulated appetite, though previous unvoiced, is certainly not unfelt. Many great conversations, too many to post here.Once again, the iconography proved to be the big delighter. In spite of the interactive media that everyone agreed was cool along with the mini TV sets in the icons, etc., there is something just deliciously simple and appealing about the real ordinary objects from daily life embedded in those large steel icons that always brings a smile, usually followed spontaneously by a touch. People just like them.
There were many special moments, audience reactions, great conversations, even live video interviews using the art as a set. The highlight for me, however was when one of the ADA design consultants who herself happens to be blind, came by to experience the art. I offered to provide a guided tour, which was really just me directing her hands from one monolith to the next, hitting the most tactile areas along the way. It was an awesome and most unexpected adventure. We both became Bilbo Baggins discovering mysteries beyond the Shire. She was thrilled just touching and dentifying these objects from the virtual world, for the first time represented in a form that she could actually perceive in real-life three dimensionally. The cold, the rough, the jagged, the abstract, the concrete; it was a thrill seeing it all through her hands. I had been living, eating, breathing this art for the past six months to bring it into existence; I knew every inch of it, and yet it was as if I was seeing it for the first time through her hands acting as eyes for us both.
See more photos at http://belveal.net/?p=1189
And also at http://belveal.net/?p=1116
I’ll be posting video too. But that will take longer.
Okay, its one month later. Now I’m focused on making sure that all the appreciation gifts are received accordingly. I have created more MyPhoneStones especially for my Kickstarter contributors and posted photos on my web site. So, please go to http://belveal.net/?page_id=37&wppa-album=13&wppa-photo=225&wppa-occur=1 to pick the one(s) you like. People are asking for these, but I am determined to serve my Kickstarter supporters first.
Also, because of complications working with the print shop, there has been a delay in the printing of the t-shirts. Rather than make people wait further I am offering additional MyPhoneStones in place of the one t-shirt. An extra MyPhoneStone means you can have one for the office, one for home, or share with a friend! They also work great as an IPod stand or for business cards.
If this is agreeable to you, please go to the web site and pick the one(s) that you like and email me their numbers along with your mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org so I can ship them to you.
I have settled up with some of you. Some right at the conference. For others, please hurry to pick the one(s) you like and let me know so I can get them to you. It might be good idea though to pick some alternates in case some other early bird picks your favorite MyPhoneStones first.
I would love to send you the MyPhoneStone(s) you want. So please respond soon.
Thanks again. I really appreciate the support!