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Ipomoea is an interactive aesthetic ecosystem that functions in three ways: it is a multi-disciplinary installation, it is an educational tool, and it is a visually and aurally responsive environment for visiting performers. Using an innovative mix of interactive media, installation and performance art, and dance and theatre, Ipomoea will embody a radical new approach to both creating and framing contemporary work. Inspired by the technological world in which the Millennial Generation are “digital natives,” Ipomoea references and explores the tensions and harmonies between natural and the artificial, the physical and the virtual, the mediated and the communal.

The Ipomoea team will create a dynamic space that explores the life of the urban garden. Housed in a working farm in the center of a densely packed urban environment, Ipomoea mediates our quest for nature and natural spaces by framing it within our urban landscape. We will turn the traditional urban garden on its head by creating an inorganic garden within a richly organic space that is in turn surrounded by concrete and new construction. We will use innovative interactive technology to create a space that embodies the liveness of growing things: breath, movement, action and reaction. Your approach will trigger the bloom of synthetic flowers. Your touch will activate a swarm of projected butterflies. The screen of your cell phone will reveal a flock of invisible birds. We will create a space that transforms with every touch, sound, and movement.

Ipomoea will also serve as a performance venue and artistic playground for residencies with artistic partners. Each partner will have the opportunity to generate new artistic material in dialogue with the space, followed by public performances. Ipomoea is a point of inspiration for other artists and disciplines. For example, a dancer may create movement in response to the interactive butterflies. Thus, Ipomoea creates active dialogue between itself and other artistic bodies. Ipomoea provides artists with the rare opportunity to explore advanced technology and access a unique and innovative performance venue.

The installation will function as a laboratory for outreach to and engagement with the community. The collaborators will host workshops and events to highlight the possibilities when technology and the arts combine. It is a unique opportunity to introduce to diverse communities the possibilities of using technology in radically creative ways. Ipomoea provides opportunities for professionals and students to generate conversation and creativity through interaction with the environment. Additionally, Ipomoea is a space where multiple generations, brought up in very different technological climates, can form a dialogue and be exposed to new ways of perceiving the interaction between technology and shared personal experience.

Ipomoea brings together the urban, mechanical, and man-made in the forms of elemental nature, its forces, and the shared communal experience of space. The blend of technology and the arts will provide a fertile ground for new conversations as well as defining new models of collaboration.

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