Created for 01SJ Biennial, 2010A performative celebration of city life and activity incorporating physical and virtual activity into one cohesive spectacle, Plug-In-Play was a response to the theme of this year’s biennial, “Build Your Own World.” Rockwell Group’s LAB built an interactive urban-scale projection environment at Richard Meier & Partners Architects’s San Jose City Hall building.
To create a space that responded to and was defined by a large network of connections and interactions, the LAB developed software to track virtual and geo-location (Twitter feeds, Foursquare check-ins, Flickr postings) as well as physical activity around existing and placed objects in the city hall. The physical objects—from traffic lights and picnic tables to bird feeders and hopscotch squares—were connected to the building via 4-inch-thick colored wires running to oversize versions of electrical plugs. All the activity was filtered and translated into an abstracted version of a cityscape projected onto the facade of the building, suggesting a new type of environment where the vitality and complexity with which people engage with their urban environments is more dynamically reflected.
The conceptual origins for Plug-in-Play cover a broad span of architectural and technical innovation, but the title of the piece is a direct reference to Peter Cook’s 1964 project, Plug-in-City. This installation revisited that futuristic, urban infrastructure concept in seeking to demonstrate the interconnectedness of the people and things through play, social media, and human interaction.
Design Team: Joshua Walton, James Tichenor, Keetra Dean Dixon, Brett Renfer, Adi Marom, Tucker Viemeister, Zack Boka, Lars Berg, Ellen Haller, Chris Allick Projection Equipment: SenovvA, Inc. Commissioned by Zero1 and The City of San Jose