Scottsdale Public Art and CODAworx will converge in November as the annual CODAsummit: The Intersection of Art, Technology and Place comes to Scottsdale during Canal Convergence | Water + Art + Light.
CODAsummit is a three-day conference for all individuals and companies that are involved in creating large-scaled, commissioned art to consider how technology-infused art installations can change the way environments are experienced. Produced by CODAworx, this year’s CODAsummit will be hosted by Scottsdale Public Art Nov. 10–12 at the Scottsdale Arts campus and other locations in Old Town Scottsdale.
Canal Convergence is a free, annual, 10-day temporary public art event at the Scottsdale Waterfront, featuring light-based and interactive art installations from around the world, exciting performances, creative workshops, educational opportunities and more. This year’s event, organized by Scottsdale Public Art in association with other branches of Scottsdale Arts, is scheduled for Nov. 5–14 and will focus on a theme of “Art and Technology” in connection with CODAsummit.
“We’re excited to return Canal Convergence to the Scottsdale Waterfront with our in-person programming, including live music, food and beverages,” said Kim Boganey, director of Scottsdale Public Art. “Additionally, we are honored to be hosting the premier public art conference, CODAsummit, which will bring visitors to Scottsdale from across the globe, many of whom will be experiencing Canal Convergence for the first time.”
The combination of cutting-edge technologies with public art has made possible some of the most exciting and innovative artworks to appear at Canal Convergence. Through this year’s theme, Scottsdale Public Art intends to expand the public’s understanding of technology’s role in artmaking and explore its impact on society.
Jennifer Gill, public art manager for Canal Convergence, said organizers are selecting artworks that highlight state-of-the-art technologies alongside the event’s perennial themes of water, light, sustainability and interactivity.
“From data visualization to augmented reality, these ever-evolving technologies are reshaping the way public art is made and experienced,” Gill said. “As Canal Convergence also continues to evolve, it is a natural next step to feature the theme of ‘Art and Technology’ for 2021.”
Among the 2021 artworks will be “Say What You Will” by MASARY Studios, a Boston-based collective previously featured at Canal Convergence. “Say What You Will” is an audio-visual installation that invites the public to express themselves with their voices and see their expression realized through light and video projection above the Arizona Canal.
Canal Convergence will also continue to explore augmented reality technology, including artworks entirely based in AR like “Mirage” by Los Angeles artist Nancy Baker Cahill. Created specifically for Canal Convergence, “Mirage” speaks to the event’s sustainability focus with an AR animated abstract drawing of water droplets, sand granules and an hourglass that will appear above the Arizona Canal, reflecting the Arizona sun during the day and glowing at night. Like last year’s AR elements, “Mirage” will be accessed through the Hoverlay app.
Technology-based artworks like these at Canal Convergence provide an obvious link to CODAsummit’s intersection of art, technology and place.
Toni Sikes, CODAworx CEO, said CODAsummit is focused on the paradigm shift of technology playing an increasingly key role in major artworks. The summit’s objective is to convene leading artists, technology companies, commissioning entities and thought leaders from the art world to promote artistic-technology collaborations and develop critical thinking about the role of technology in placemaking art.
“The theme of this year’s conference is Creative Revolution,” Sikes said. “We believe that artists and other creative professionals are more important to our society than ever before. Often their work is fueled by the desire to solve real-world problems or to raise provocative questions or to offer a refuge from those real-world problems.”
CODAworx is an online community that connects artists, designers, architects, art consultants, public art administrators, fabricators and more, matching creative talent with creative opportunities. The organization also publishes the monthly online CODAmagazine and hosts the annual CODAawards.
Among the subjects that will be covered at CODAsummit are reimagining public art as energy landscapes and augmented reality for experiential artworks. Presenters include Canal Convergence artist Ryan Edwards, of MASARY Studios, and James Carpenter, founder of James Carpenter Design Associates, the New York City-based design studio that created “Glass Scrim Wall” at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA). Carpenter will deliver the summit’s keynote address.
“It’s a kismet opportunity to bring people together from all across the arts sector, combining an innovative public art display with an in-depth meeting for industry professionals,” said Sarah Muehlbauer, program coordinator for CODAworx. “In this way, the events amplify their momentum. It’s a unique occurrence in the visual arts world, particularly in public art and technology.”
Through its partnership with the City of Scottsdale, the nonprofit Scottsdale Arts (formerly known as Scottsdale Cultural Council) creates diverse, inspired arts experiences and educational opportunities that foster active, lifelong community engagement with the arts. Since its founding in 1987, Scottsdale Arts has grown into a regionally and nationally significant, multi-disciplinary arts organization offering an exceptional variety of programs through four acclaimed branches — Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA), Scottsdale Public Art and Scottsdale Arts Education & Outreach — serving more than 400,000 participants annually.
The mission of Scottsdale Public Art is to make Scottsdale one of the most desirable communities in the country in which to live, work and visit by incorporating art and design projects throughout. In 1985, the City of Scottsdale established Scottsdale Public Art with the goal to enhance the quality of life for its residents and visitors. Since then, more than 100 permanent and temporary public artworks have been commissioned throughout the community. Scottsdale’s program and projects have won local, regional and national awards.