By Jake Pierce
Over my last four years at Champlain College, I’ve always adored Burlington’s Art Hop. Eccentric artists and entrepreneurs from all over Burlington – and some beyond – come to intrigue and inspire crowds with the creativity they wield on a day to day basis. I’ve always aspired to be a part of it. Thankfully, due to working on the Sandbox team at the Emergent Media Center, I was able to finally accomplish that goal.
We showcased two projects that, I believe, strongly represent the innovation habitually utilized by all projects in our studio: Spacebox and Flowers. Spacebox is a game built to push our understanding of alternative controller development; players sit inside a cardboard box and ride it (like a spaceship) to control a digital ship on a space voyage. Flowers is an interactive art sculpture built with Arduino, and specifically demonstrates our pursuit of melding both art and technology into one.
Being able to exhibit these projects was truly an experience. Seeing the bewildered look in the eyes of both children and adult as they skidded around an asteroid in Spacebox or watched the petals fold on Flowers was exactly as encouraging as I hoped. We had parents throughout the night asking questions on how we did it; kids constantly suggesting ideas to make the experience more interesting and cooler. Boundless imagination was truly in the air.
As a creative, showcasing at Art Hop made me realize why I create: to motivate those around me and encourage them to build a new, original future in art and tech. I’m incredibly thankful for having the opportunity, and I hope that I have more chances to inspire Vermont with the Emergent Media Center.