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BostonAPP/Lab: Art in Public Places

  • COST

    Free and open to the public

From apps to arts in public places: Code for Boston, creative technology, and the creative spirit

Some of the most extraordinary technology-related work underway in the Boston region continues to emerge from Code for Boston, part of the Code for America “Brigade” network. CfB describes itself as a “group of developers, designers, data geeks, and citizen activists” using creative technology to solve civic and social challenges through new apps that reflect and respond to community needs. One need only participate with—or simply observe—the geeks and hackers at work every Tuesday evening at the Cambridge Innovation Center to witness an in-depth, disciplined approach to civic engagement and to the kinds of positive outcomes resulting from that engagement.

The question: is there a way—or even a reason—to expand from this strong, community-driven approach to “app-making” to a comparable approach to “art-making” in/for public places? The issue is not only that of integrating technology generally into art in public places, but of adapting CfB’s discipline as a development model—a discipline that, as stated by one of CfB’s regulars, encompasses a workflow of “collaboration, iteration, and experimentation.” What are the lessons to be learned from CfB about new ways of working productively with government and community partners? What do they suggest, not only for new aspects of the creative process, but for new kinds of work emerging from that process?

Join us for this exploratory workshop/brainstorming session to learn about the principles underlining CfB’s take on civic engagement, how these play out within CfB’s universe, how the fundamental logic can—and does—work in the environment of art in public places—and how you might respond to that logic with your own ideas, projects, and initiatives.

Leading the workshop will be:
Harlan Weber, founder and leader of Code for Boston and director of Design and Service Innovation at MassIT, the state IT agency
Isaac Chansky, co-organizer at Code for Boston and front end developer at BEAM Interactive
Emily Royall, analyst and technologist at Massachusetts Data Office as MassIT, and curator for Cultural Computation at MIT
Matt Rouser, chief technology officer at the Department of Neighborhood Development, Boston

To learn more about the BostonAPP/Lab: Art in Public Places, visit