In 1996, California broke the stigmas of American culture and legalized marijuana for medical use. In 2012, Colorado and Washington shocked the nation again by allowing not only medical use, but recreational use of the drug despite federal pushback. Now, in 2019 cannabis is normalized for most of the population.
Over 30 states have decriminalized cannabis either for medical or recreational purposes. This has brought about an emerging market with ample opportunity for entrepreneurs and investors to stake their claim in the cannabis frontier. However, marijuana marketing is so much more than pot leaves and tie dye. Modern cannabis brands are much more sophisticated in their presentation of products and brand experiences. Marijuana isn’t just for the stoner dropout anymore. It’s for the senior struggling with arthritis; for the eco-conscious parent using CBD to handle their anxiety and depression; for the hard-working college student who wants to spend their weekends at art and music festivals. These nuanced target markets expect brands to provide quality in both their products and presentation if they are to delve into this hot new trend. Experiential marketing is one way in which brands are surging ahead of their competitors and breaking ground within various target markets of the cannabis space. When new consumers are greeted with a warm welcome to the cannabis space, they are more likely to try products that they wouldn’t before. The industry culture is shifting to be inclusive to people of all kinds.
Brands should offer tailored experiences for customers with different needs and expectations when it comes to cannabis use. One such company that is making strides in the industry is Far Out Factory. This marijuana-inspired art and music festival provides an immersive 420-friendly experience that doesn’t actually include marijuana at all. Sponsored by O.penVape, this art festival includes everything a marijuana enthusiast would want: immersive digital art, eclectic music selections, and the best munchies Denver has to offer. Guests at the festival were invited by an array of food trucks, art booths, and even a dance party where they could relax and enjoy the music. The environment was optimized for someone who had partaken prior to the festival, but was equally fun sober. Alt Ethos participated in this fantastic 420 event by curating a balloon-inspired silent disco with color-coordinated lights to match featured DJs’ top tracks. The silent disco was a success for us and Far Out Factory, and a truly great time for everyone on the dance floor.
Events like these offer opportunity for cannabis industry leaders to interact with their consumers and make memorable impressions that lead to purchases. When customers interact with the brand, even if they don’t buy or even sample products, they build brand loyalty and will likely come back when they are ready to delve into the modern marijuana culture. Experiential marketing is an opportunity for marijuana brands to make cannabis a solution, not a problem in today’s culture. Talk to us at Alt Ethos to learn how you can take your branding to the next level.
Developing communities are a true artist’s dream. They are a blank canvas upon which creativity can be carved from nothing. The essence of public art especially fosters creativity in ways other art forms do not. Digital design, sculpture, and architecture can all create the groundwork for a community thriving in culture. However, planning and investment of creative resources must be utilized carefully to create public art that has meaning and impact.
What is Public Art?
Public art, simply put, is architecture, murals, sculpture, or digital designs that are created in the public domain. They are accessible to all and are used to create beauty and culture within an otherwise purely pragmatic space. Public art has been an important part of community development since the early 20th century. It can encourage collaboration and community involvement that provides a sense of pride to area residents.
Public art can include city sculpture, architecture, wall art, and other mediums accessible by the public. Traditionally, public art has included sculpture, murals, ecological design, and occasionally digital displays. However, in the digital age we are seeing an influx of interactive public art designed for user interaction, or experiential design. This trend is slowly but surely gaining traction in areas where community development takes on an innovative approach.
The Problem with Public Art as a Part of Community Development
Public art can contribute to culture and residential satisfaction, however in most community development projects, it is taken very lightly. Oftentimes the limited budget for public art is taken from the same budget that provides for affordable housing or roadway improvements. When residents see an eyesore art piece coupled with potholes and underdeveloped residential areas, public art can quickly turn into the lowest priority for community members.
Developing communities have the opportunity to make public art more than an afterthought.
Many developers don’t pay attention to the inclusion of public art, but it can make an impact on community areas if done correctly. An art piece that has cultural meaning, modern relevance, and interactive elements will be cherished by residents and worth the time and investment.
How to Make Public Art Valuable to the Community at Large
Instead of going the traditional route, many developers are leaning towards digital, interactive public art to include in their community projects. Experiential designs and digital media displays are modern, unique, and engage community members to give them experiences, not just stagnant aesthetics.
Creations of installation art, interactive architecture, interactive film, and interactive storytelling through digital landscapes all offer communities more to experience and enjoy. An interactive public art piece where residents can make memories, tell their own stories, and unleash creativity adds exponentially more value than a static piece commissioned by one local artist. With experiential design, community members become the creators. When this happens, public art matters.
These digital interactive pieces can transform an area into a more modern community. It attracts community members to otherwise declining economic areas, offering a springboard of inspiration to make more out of a community development project.
AltEthos works with community developers, landscape designers, and local artists to bring visions into interactive experience landscapes that can transform communities. Change the way people see, feel, and live in your community by adding real value in the form of public art. The change starts now with AltEthos.
We have a number of exciting updates to share; We’ve begun on site installation of our new Fort Collins experience, our CEO Ethan Bach and CSO Paul Elsberg have submitted two exciting topics for this year’s Denver Startup Week and Elsberg will be leading an ongoing Hackster.IO workshop. Let’s go into detail on each.
Fort Collin Museum of Discovery
We left off last in excited conceptualization of how this project would take place. Since then the test version of our Fort Collins installation has taken wings; We’re now ready to reveal the beta version of our newest creation: An interactive audio/visual exhibit which allows visitors to create music simply by walking into the space.
We achieve this with 4 Epson projectors, 6 Behringer speakers and 2 Kinect sensors mounted to the ceiling, 1 SkyLake 6700 Quad Core and 1 Lenovo ThinkCenter M715Q AMD Pro computer. The audio/visual elements are generated through a system utilizing TouchDesigner, Processing and Max/MSP. Processing both passes data to TouchDesigner 1. Through OSC and Max/MSP and 2. Video to Spout, an inter application video program.
Learning a new instrument can be difficult for a number of people. The aim of this exhibit is to provide an easier approach to musical creation, lowering the barrier to entry for visitors to participate.
Based on our surveys we’ve observed a mix of behaviors among visitors of the space. Age, gender, family and group size, exhibit, etc. play a part in determining preference towards individual or group interaction, and desired amount of time spent interacting.
Our vision is to bring diverse groups of people together who may never meet, all within a whole new context of creativity. Our goal is to make it as easy and pleasurable for those familiar with music to enjoy it in a new way and create an easier approach for newcomers. Housed within the audio exhibits, we aim to provide a unique gathering point for visitors to interact with each other in a brand new way.
As you step inside the space waves of color glide across the floor, mirrored by traces of light dancing across the wall, beckoning you to enter. A red dot appears below your feet as you realize that your position is being tracked from above. Beats and tones are generated, waves feathering past you and into the distance. The wall ebbs and shifts to your movement on the floor. Speakers covers you with a song that is made of your movement. As more begin to follow inside, the space reacts as you create music in synchronization.
On Monday, May 22nd we began the on site installation at the museum. The first day entailed physical preparation of the space, placement of projectors and Kinects, and computer calibration. Today we plan to install the Behringer speakers all to create a truly immersive and interactive experience. We’re aiming for a soft public launch on June 9th.
We also announce Paul Elsberg as an instructor of a continuous Hackster.io Meetup sponsored by DATA and Alt Ethos. Hackster is an online community dedicated to learning hardware. By this they mean building analog systems which connect human action to digital reaction. In their own words:
Hackster helps people everywhere learn how to design, create and program Internet-connected hardware. By bringing together our network of close to 200,000 engineers, makers and hackers, 90 technology partners, and 100 Hackster Live ambassadors, we hope to support the creation of technologies that impact meaningful issues, such as a healthy environment, wildlife preservation, and our own welfare.
Both our CEO, Ethan Bach and CSE, Paul Elsberg have submitted talks for Denver Startup Week. Both are seeking votes for the opportunity to present these talks. Denver Startup Week is an open week celebrating and enhancing entrepreneurship beginning September 25th which we are proud to be a part of for our second year.
Building A New Paradigm with Collaborative Business Models
Creating a self-driving supportive organization that fosters leadership and personal evolution to achieve the highest success for the company is one of the drivers behind Bach’s joint venture organizations. Backed by over thirty years of experience in personal transformation, mentorship, and leadership, Bach sets out to create a new kind of company culture where the focus is as much on vision and inspiration as professional development and deliverables. Bach offers real-life strategies and solutions followed by an open dialogue driven by unanswered questions around creating a new paradigm in business. Vote for Bach’s talk here: https://www.denverstartupweek.org/panel-picker/3298-building-a-new-paradigm-with-collaborative-business-models
Designing with Art and Technology for Local Communities!
What if artful expressions of technology could strengthen our sense of community, bringing us together in local areas rather than fragmenting us further into our digital lives? To captivate with creative technology requires an understanding of the vision, context, users, and interactions that connect communities to spaces. At the forefront of emergent media, a panel of explorers will discuss how experiential design is essential to their creative process as a means to navigate an ever growing landscape of technological possibilities. Vote for Elsberg’s talk here: https://www.denverstartupweek.org/panel-picker/3264-designing-with-art-and-technology-for-local-communities
Matt Maes is a Denver animator focused on immersive and interactive technology. He is Chief Influence Officer ofAlt Ethos, Ltd and is also an executive member of the nonprofit organization Denver Arts and Technology Advancement (D.A.T.A.)