Pixel Black answered a call from the Milwaukee Downtown Business Improvement District #21 with augmented reality public art, something they haven't even thought of or knew was possible. BID #21 wanted to beautify the utility boxes that peppered the downtown streets with murals. This would be the flagship for the Arts On Wisconsin projects. They wanted to capture Wisconsin Avenue's rich history, commerce, diversity, architecture, people & bright future. They also asked for a social media tie in.
Pixel Black's Proposal:
Pixel Black will transform all 10 of the utility box locations into eye catching interactive experiences through graphic art and technology. The clean & colorful markers will be easy to locate and view from a distance with custom designed information icon painted onto their surface that reflect the downtown history, community, location, and its future.
Each box will relate within color, design and interactive functionality, forming a series of 10 vibrant markers.They will no longer be viewed at utility boxes, but act as visual story tellers, allowing explorations and fun opportunities to learn about Milwaukee’s Wisconsin Avenue downtown area by using a new Image Recognition platform.
Each box will contain a custom designed icon graphic that references an important Wisconsin Avenue person, place or thing. Each icon will be connected to a custom coded web program that communicates with your smart phone or tablet. Following the user guide, you simply point your devices camera at the icon and your phone or tablet will use image recognition technology to read and through an interactive experience, routing the user to a custom web landing page.The web landing page will contain 1-2 photographs and a short paragraph or fun fact about the particular person place or thing.The info is now alive on their hand held device, offering a unique and new opportunity to learn about the Wisconsin Avenue area and its important waters, rich history, past industries and commerce.They will learn how the past has shaped the city into the modern Milwaukee of today and its future yet to come.
The icon images will be located on the front & back of the largest utility box surface. Smaller surfaces of the various boxes will be used to connect the city through a social media hash tag (#MKEDOWNTOWN or #MKEWIAVE or #ARTSONWIAVE).
Pixel Black would like to work with Bid 21, Historic Milwaukee Inc., and the Milwaukee County Historical Society to select the pictures and information displayed and experienced on the devices. I’m open to conversations and ideas as we work together to create a list of items to tell the Wisconsin Avenue story, including Arts on Wisconsin Ave.
Pixel Black is excited about this project because its new, creates conversation, engages, teaches, and the utility boxes are visually and graphically amazing pieces of artwork and communication design. I’m also excited because of the ability to expand this basic concept of art and interactive technology into other projects throughout the city. I’m an Artist, Project Manager and Director by profession. I work along side the best Milwaukee professionals in executing successful projects: Nilson Studios (Painting & Murals), Crescendo Collective (web programing), and Max Estes (design) will help see this project to fruition.Together with the Milwaukee Bid 21 Business Improvement District, we won’t create just murals on utility boxes, we’ll create a conversation that embraces history while pointing to the future.We’ll create landmarks that function in a new way to educate and empower the user to explore and engage with the urban context of Milwaukee’s historic main street.