Fem Fest 2017 took over Founder’s Park at USC on Saturday, April 8. It was a breezy day and a cool night featuring music from women-fronted bands, interactive art, and topical accessories. I’ll post a recap of the event with pictures and videos in a few days, but first, here is a behind the scenes of how I built my “Make Note” installation that debuted on my alma mater’s campus at the fest last weekend.
When Fem Fest hit me up for an installation for their 2017 show, I had a few ideas. Since it’s an evening show, I thought it would be cool to do something with black lights. I could string up a banner/giant coloring book between two trees to have a group art place.
My biggest issue with that installation was hanging art without walls. Fem Fest reminded me that USC has a rule against attaching things to trees or putting stakes in the ground, so I devised a new freestanding plan pitch for Fem Fest after finding an affordable backdrop stand.
Instead of just putting up a banner for people to draw on, I wanted to make the station into a thematic shape for the event. Since Fem Fest celebrates women in music, and women take all sorts of different shapes, I decided to depict a tool of the trade.I sketched out a plan involving metal rings and paper keys. The poster board I bought for the keys wasn’t UV reactive, so I attached computer paper to the strips with spray glue, glue sticks, and then finally with double sided tape after the first adhesives didn’t hold. The white keys are cut into two for convenience of transport, movement, and initially, because I couldn’t find long enough poster board.
After cutting up strips of paper for the black keys, and staring at my brother’s piano, I decided that the black keys were too tough to place and I’d need to paint them on.
As the fest approached, I updated my plans.Initially, I planned to use zip ties to attach black light tubes to the photo stand, but I bought a more powerful black light spotlight on a hunch (and because I had a stipend). Good thing! The black lights were too heavy for the stand. I made use of the zip ties and the black light tubes on the “Make Note” post-it stations, so it’s all good.The cords from the black light tubes on the table were a bit intense, so I covered them with a left over black key from concept one.I’ve gotten a little better at visualizing the interactive experience while in construction mode, so naturally tried a few selfies:It was really tough to get a cool angle with the black lights.I made the signs last because I wanted them to reflect what I actually ended up making/presenting. I searched through fonts and played around with musical notes. That research probably inspired my thought-process in creating the typography for the signs. I folded left-over paper from the white keys to make the letters. The post-its inspired the good ol’ fashion By-line formation.Stay tuned to see how “Make Note” turned out, what worked and what I need to change for next time, and to see pictures from the event!
Here’s a preview:
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