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Small Kindnesses, Weather Permitting

An interactive artwork for 11 stations of the Light Rail. There are 3 to 4 kiosks on each station platform, some video, some audio: 35 in all, using 11 different mechanical interface designs. We held a competition for Minnesota filmmakers, videographers, singers, poets, storytellers, comics, etc, to provide content for the units, all on the theme of weather or courtesy, the two clichés about Minnesota, and then commissioned over 100 Minnesotans. Each kiosk holds every commissioned work (190 short video or audio clips), providing visitors with always varying content while waiting for the trains.

11 stations of the Hiawatha Light Rail Line, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Commissioned by the Metropolitan Council.
Mixed media, electronics, audio and video content. Dimensions vary.

Of the different kiosk designs, 7 are audio and 4 are video, made in editions of 3 or 4 each. Designs include a windshield wiper, a doorbell, a telephone, a curtained theater, a revolving snow-globe, a pinball game, and a "thanks a million" machine. Each unit has a mechanical initiator (like a hand crank, a push button, a lever) and a digital output -- either audio only or video with audio. Each unit is protected behind tamper-proof glass and enclosed in a steel box attached to a station column. The LCD monitors are heated for the Minnesota winters.

The collection of audios and videos were the result of an open competition. The clips last from 30 seconds to 3 minutes. They range from the comedic to the serious, from professional to amateur. On an ongoing basis, this content is delivered to the 35 units, activated when someone on the platform discovers it and activates the mechanical initiator.

The audio/video system engineering: ScharffWeisberg, Inc.
installation and maintenance: Rainville Carlsen
, Rocket AV
Project manager: Josh Collins, Program Director: David Allen
Special thanks to Joe Scala

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