Spectacles 2018: You complete Me!
Maker Festival is a gathering place for 100+ makers and their projects every year. An event showcasing DIY know-how, hands-on experiences, and the endless possibilities of making! Each year we select a group of makers to GO BIG with our Spectacles programming. A chance for makers to create larger projects, with a bit of help from us, that are designed to amaze and delight.
This year we had several Spectacle installations that required VISITORS to complete them. Projects designed in such a way that visitor interaction was the final, essential element of the experience.
Makers Mosaic by Tinkertorium was an installation on the second floor, conveniently located next to our Chill Zone, where visitors were invited to quietly consider a series of statements and to draw their own conclusions using coloured string. All the weaved stories and conversations, with hundreds of visitors over the course of the Maker Festival weekend, began to reveal awesome insights:
1) Curiosity, technology and art were popular themes among students
2) Applied curiosity resonated with most visitors as a means to ideate
3) Torontonians want to see more open makerspaces
In the end, the Makers Mosaic, customized specifically for Maker Festival, was an experience on many levels. As the weekend progressed, visitors could actually see the data being collected and our community’s views emerging. And thanks in large part to Maryam and her enthusiastic team, visitors embraced the hands-on interactivity and connected with the makers and the message behind this Spectacle project. It’s no wonder then that Tinkertorium received a 2018 Best in Show award!
Another project to receive a 2018 Best in Show award was the Connect & Sync; Hands & Hearts project by wonderMakr. Installed on the main level of the Toronto Reference Library atrium, the very heart of Maker Festival, this Spectacle was also designed specifically for our event and for the Reference Library space.
As the wonderMakr team puts it: “four individuals step up and connect by placing their hands on pairs of panels. Once everyone is connected, the sculpture is brought to life.” The literal spectacle of their installation, with LEDs flashing and four coloured balloons rising and falling, could be seen from many vantage points in the library.
Also during the festival, CTV News reporter Jackie Dunham was also kind enough to do a Facebook Live interview with the wonderMakr team, where they describe their amazing project in their own words.
Meanwhile, in the Glowatorium, Schema Factor (aka Leif Bloomquist) presented their Interactive Music and Dance installation. The 2018 edition of this light and sound project is a continued exploration of interactive motion and dance generative music. This unique experience can track multiple people and their entire bodies (arms, legs, etc) – no need to stand in one place! Participants generate music and abstract visuals by dancing, jumping and waving their arms, allowing motion sensors to capture their movements and create a one-of-a-kind music and light show.
These are but a few of the many amazing Spectacles that the innovative maker community brought to Maker Festival in 2018! Stay tuned for another recap, when we revisit works-in-progress that developed over the course of the Festival. Spectacular!