SFPUC Digital Arts Panorama

My final project with Obscura brought together the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, the San Francisco Arts Commission and KMD Architects to create a large scale interactive platform for storytelling, data visualization and the promotion of local artists. The “Digital Arts Panorama” is a 4’ by 58’ continuous display with a resolution of 24,000 x 1800 pixels. Four TYZX cameras provide interactivity/reactivity through person-tracking - giving the system an accurate location, trajectory, orientation and height of each person moving through the space. Depending on the experience, the system can gauge the user’s level of interest by looking at moments of rest and orientation - delivering contextual information in an ideal location. Four custom experiences were created to showcase the capabilities of the wall.

The first interactive mode, “Snowfall to Outfall” tells the story of the SFPUC as an infographic map - a compelling story that stretches from the majestic Sierra Nevada mountain range to the Farallon Islands off the coast of San Francisco. The SFPUC is one of the few public municipalities that manages the full spectrum of natural resources, from water collection and distribution to alternative energy creation to sewage and runoff management. Their colorful history and holistic approach to managing resources makes for an interesting experience to explore.

“Media Stream” leverages the vast historical archive of the PUC, with beautiful photos documenting the creation of Hetch Hetchy, the long journey of the water pipes that span the state of California, and the multiple generations that have maintained and expanded this unique system.

“Dashboard” functions as a modular data visualization system for monitoring the PUC’s critical systems, plus auxiliary signals coming from energy use and monitoring of their new LEED Platinum building, weather, and news feeds. The system is designed to accommodate new data feeds as needs change.

“Interactive Art Mode” allows artists collaborating with the San Francisco Arts Commission an opportunity to showcase their work on the wall. Simple guidelines and a content management system provides an accessible platform for creating unique and interactive experiences.

The Digital Arts Panorama is located in the public lobby and is one of many dynamic art installations created for the building - I highly recommend a visit if you’re in the area. You can visit the wall during regular SFPUC business hours. Find more info here: http://www.sfwater.org/

Opening night blessed by Mayor Willie Brown