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Visit Our Interactive Installation Factory

Visit Our Interactive Installation Factory

Alt Ethos Open House at Prism

When: Friday, June 1st, 2018 from 5:30pm to 11:30pm

Where: Prism Workplaces – 999 Vallejo Street, Denver Colorado – Entrance 2, Space #30

As a growing creative startup, finding a place to work and build in a rapidly growing city can be a challenge often overlooked. After working out of our home for over two years at The Commons on Champa we were ready for some growth into a space where we could work and build.

We still love The Commons and visit, hold events, or work there often. Searching for something at the scale we needed for the price we could afford was proving to be difficult. After scouring the market for a couple months our good friends at TVL Creative let us in on their secret.

They rented a space in an artist, maker, and creative workspace called Prism Workspaces. This conglomeration of a couple buildings sits on the outskirts of downtown just south of Mile High Stadium in an industrial park just a gust of wind away smells of greenhouses full of Colorado’s cash crop. The unassuming warehouse style buildings contain a labyrinth of workspaces for some of the most phenomenal creatives in Denver.

Your Startup Needs a Place to Grow

Outside of Prism workspace.

We moved into Prism in October of 2017 into a 1300 sq. foot unit for a fraction of the price of other spaces we had been looking at. Apart from the size, location, and price what has really excited me was the community and the passion people had for the work they did.

Day in and day out the noises from people building, and making things fills the air at Prism reminding us of the creative energy flowing heavily through the space.

This place is special.

In the social and political climate since the Ghost Ship fire, creative spaces have been uprooted in many places around the country. Makers, creatives, inventors, artists, and musicians have been reeling to find places to live and work since their displacement. The tragedy rocked the community and has touched many of our lives so very deeply.

Preventing something like that happening again is certainly important however the implementation of the enforcement has caused a lot of discomfort and even suffering among people in our community. Although Prism doesn’t solve any of the housing issues, the feeling of the DIY community workspace seems to thrive, while also maintaining a healthy relationship with the City.

The synthesis of professionalism and creativity shouldn’t be feared, and the feeling of the community can still flourish.

Your Startup Needs a Place to Grow

Our office inside of Prism.

After almost 8 months, we have really found a home at Prism. Our office and studio space allows for us to work together in a space we can be proud of. With ample space for desks and individual workspaces paired with a great meeting area and a large fabrication and build space, we have a natural and efficient flow to get a good volume of quality work built and designed. We have ample space to build out installations for testing or prototyping before we deploy final products.

Welcome to the Alt Ethos interactive installation factory

Welcome to the Alt Ethos interactive installation factory.

Coming up 7 months after our first open house not long after we moved in, the Prism Community is hosting another open house. We are so excited to show you what we have been working on the past half of the year.

Please come by and see what we have in store for this event and also check out what our neighbors will have to show. The theme of this open house is Ultraviolet, so expect a lot of purple!  

Come celebrate with us at the Prism Workplaces facility-wide open house to take in the work of talented artists, designers, and creatives. We are grateful to be a part of this community as we continue to expand our organizations into new possibilities.

The open house will be held on Friday, June 1st, 2018 from 5:30pm to 11:30pm at Prism Workplaces 999 Vallejo Street, Denver Colorado. Alt Ethos is located through entrance 2 at space #30.

The Rise of the Digital Dome

The Rise of the Digital Dome

It’s nearing summertime, and with the winter thaw, the warm air, and the summer sunshine comes the events season. Music festivals, corporate retreats, conventions, expositions, weddings, and parties parties parties. Logistically, it’s a cutthroat industry, with 32% increase in competition among event planners in 2017 (Eventbrite 3rd Annual Pulse Report). Invariably, organizers of these events are always looking for ways to stand out, seeking with dedicated hunger the latest and greatest entertainment that the world has to offer.

One medium for entertainment that is globally on the rise is that of the Digital Dome – an immersive domed environment that is projection mapped to display 360° visual content, usually accompanied with equally immersive audio systems. Akin to the ever-evolving Virtual Reality technology, where participants can slip into an altered reality of light and sound, the Digital Dome unlocks new potential for event organizers to captivate attendees with the all-encompassing content of their heart’s desire.

Want your 200 person audience (actually, domes can hold many more people than that – we’ll get to this later) to experience summiting the peaks of Mt. Everest, diving into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, or dancing on the surface of the moon? All of the above? Digital Domes make that possible.

Geodesic Dome Projection, Obscura Digital

May this blog post serve to evangelize this unique medium and educate those thirsting for the bleeding edge of events entertainment.

Evolving from the early days of your favorite neighborhood planetarium, Digital Domes have come to cater to many different types of uses beyond the realm of science and astronomy; from brand, launches to live concerts to video gaming and training simulations. With the rise of technology, possibilities are becoming limitless for the types of environments that Digital Domes can create.

Sizes of Digital Domes can vary from a few feet, perfect for a single person, to two hundred feet, capable of holding thousands of people. They can be permanent fixtures embedded into architectural designs, or temporary pop-ups perfect for trade shows and ephemeral events.

L’Hemisfèric, The City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia, Spain. 110 meters long, and 55 meters tall.

With this new medium on the rise, artists and producers from many backgrounds and industries are experimenting with dome activations. Recently, major festivals in the music and entertainment industries have found major success with domes, including;

Panorama Festival, NYC (2016)

Lightning in a Bottle, California (2017)

Black Rock Desert, Nevada (aka Burning Man)

Coachella, California (2017)

With massive gatherings like these thrusting Digital Domes into the forefront of entertainment, it is an exciting time to be in the know about this evolving medium.

But that is not the end of it. At the beginning of 2018, the Madison Square Garden Group announced their plans to build a MASSIVE permanent events dome in the heart of Las Vegas, Nevada. This dome is reportedly going to be an 18,000-seat arena, built specifically for music and entertainment performances, and also could host esports competitions and possibly boxing and mixed martial arts.

Artist rendering of the “MSG Sphere”

It’s clear: the Digital Dome is on the rise. The question now is how to get in the know with this new medium and start using it to your benefit. As an artist, a fan, or an event producer, there are more ways than ever to get up to speed on Digital Domes.

The following resources are recommendations for all those who are interested.

Dome Artist Resources: http://www.denverartstech.org/dome-artist-resources/

Includes a list of workshops, events, groups, festivals, conferences, blogs, tutorials, and more.

How to Create a Fulldome / Digital Dome Master:
http://www.denverartstech.org/how-to-create-a-fulldome-digital-dome-master/

Fulldome Database: http://www.fddb.org/

A website dedicated to fulldome shows, domes around the world, organizations, and events.

If you are an artist or fan in the Colorado Metro region, please join us at MORPHOS Digital Dome Programs including workshops, an artist in residency, and art show. For more information, please visit our sister nonprofit organization Denver Arts and Technology Advancement (DATA).

If you are an event producer who is interested in bringing a pop-up Digital Dome to your next event, you are interested in purchasing a dome, or would like some content development, don’t hesitate to contact us at Alt Ethos! We will be happy to assist you with any and all of your fulldome needs.

 

 

How To Sell Your Boss or Client On Experiential Marketing

How To Sell Your Boss or Client On Experiential Marketing

Pitching new and experimental engagements with your audience to your boss or client is no easy task, especially when your organization is unfamiliar with experiential design. In the experience economy, inspiring your audience with disruptive media can amplify your impact in monumental ways but too often ideas fail to come to fruition. So how can we advocate for creating engaging environments more effectively to our boss?

Understand your boss’ perspective
For starters, striving to become more aware of the aspects of the business, specific strategies and endeavors, and opportunities for growth that your boss values is a step in the right direction. Likely, you are already intimately involved in many of these efforts but it can help immensely to put yourself in their shoes to see the organization from their eyes as best you can.

Say your boss is trying to create a campaign for a specific holiday to boost revenues. Then coming up with an experience that ties the celebration of that day to your product like Molson’s The Beer Fridge celebrating Canadian Federation Day is a great place to start.

Find a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (that’s tied to the quality of experience)
Be prepared to connect the benefits of an improved experience to your goals as an organization. Where are you headed and what are your key performance indicators on the path to getting there? Great experiences come from big hairy audacious goals that require creative thinking and unconventional methods to create a memorable experience.

…And Solve It
Map out the goal and how creating a memorable experience for your audience will get you there. Make sure to consult any experts within your organization that have an intimate stake in this goal to garner further understanding.

Working with a well-defined goal hand in hand alongside creative and marketing resources expedites the process to collaboratively developing a concept incorporating marketing strategies, innovative technology, and beautifully fabricated objects that accomplish said goal.

Ask questions to clarify with the experience designers any places where you aren’t clear. We’re here to help you to illustrate the experience inside and out with grace.

Experiential Marketing can have profound impacts on the bottom line for big and small companies alike. For instance in the six months immediately following Redbull’s World Record Stratos Freefall, sales rose 7% to $1.6 billion in the U.S., according to research firm IRI.

Plan how to measure the results
Defining strategies to measure impact provides assurance that through studying the effects of the experience, you’ll ensure this is a sound investment of your organization’s money, time, and energy. When creating an interactive environment, there is a massive opportunity to connect the sensors that allow audiences to control various forms of light and sound to record and report their measurements as quantitative and actionable insights.

For Old Navy’s 20th Birthday their #Selfiebration wall generated 640 million twitter impressions, 13,669 contest entries, and 17,498 uses of the tag #Selfiebration.

 

 

 

Connect the experience to your digital presence
In the information age, a majority of organizations are utilizing websites, social media, and other digital technologies to connect with their audiences online. Stepping outside the comfort zone of online marketing strategies into designing an experiential physical environment opens a whole new realm of possibilities to intertwine the two realms. In this case it’s important to illustrate the connection between the existing endeavors online and how this environment will galvanize more sharing on social media, more searches on google and more marketing qualified leads, subscribers, etc.

Refinery29 brought their imaginative spirit into the real world through 29Rooms an experience that connected 29 of their digital partners with audiences and created a plethora of highly shareable content that circulated throughout the web.

 

 

Visuals, Visuals, Visuals
So now we have a great idea and a plan to measure its effectiveness. With all this legwork your almost prepared for a great pitch, but there’s one more key concept we’ve discovered along our travels. Developing visual materials of the idea is essential to stimulating the imagination of your boss. We commonly curate pinterest boards to assist with ideation but there is also a well of information from searching both Creative Applications and Vice’s Creators.

-by Paul Elsberg

Check out Alt Ethos’ Projects for examples of how experiential exhibitions, temporary or permanent, can excite a range of audiences.

 

Keynote Transcript: Ethan Bach, Denver Vision: The Meow Wolf Effect

Keynote Transcript: Ethan Bach, Denver Vision: The Meow Wolf Effect

Last year we hosted a similar event, right in this room, called Our Vision for Denver.

This year, we decided to speak on our Denver Vision with a focus on a new big thing happening, Meow Wolf coming to Denver.

I have a unique perspective as I lived in Santa Fe for thirteen years and have lived in Denver for almost three years. I’ve been an artist for over twenty years and like most of you, I worked day jobs then worked on my art at night.

Watch the entire keynote below.

I witnessed what was happening in the evolution of Meow Wolf pretty closely. At one point I served on the Javier for the Arts committee with now Meow Wolf CEO Vince Kadlubek. We helped former mayor Javier Gonzales get elected.

And now Meow Wolf is coming to Denver. It seems only right that I would help navigate the Denver community through this shift. I see this as a huge opportunity for this city.  

And as we all know,

  • Artist communities are notoriously underfunded.
  • The world is changing rapidly and communities around the globe are witnessing increased rents.
  • Where there is a financial disparity there is gentrification. And just like many cities in the world, we are experiencing that in Denver.

The Meow Wolf Effect is an intimate and intentional look into a cultural phenomenon sparking the creative economy in a way that I have not witnessed in my lifetime. My plan is to explore the Meow Wolf Effect through our blog series, public events, and collaborations.

We have a unique opportunity to explore and experience this phenomenon as being one of the first cities Meow Wolf is coming to.

There are many influencers out there making a change. Meow Wolf is one of them. We have several in this community including our panelists whom I look forward to speaking within a few minutes.

You are all the experts on this town and on your experience. That is why you are here.

What I can do is help facilitate the beginnings of a conversation.

I want to help create a new possibility for you, my community. The possibility I see is an interconnected community that spans across the state of Colorado and into New Mexico (why not) that is inspired to create a new economy that is supportive for creative innovators.

Think of the most amazing community that you can imagine. What do you want that to look like? Let’s create that.

  • An opportunity to do what is your purpose with love and support from your community. That’s what I envision.
  • To make a living and thrive doing something that you love while inspiring others. That’s what I envision.
  • More ability to have the influence to shape the world in a way that you want to see it. That’s what I envision.

This is our moment of opportunity. If we do this with great intention, we can make a huge shift in the economy.

  • Traditionally, artists have not sought out to build businesses and focus on the creative economy.
  • We don’t feel supported by the current economic structure supporting creative jobs.
  • And like every other human we have a negative dialog going on in our heads.
  • Some of us even believe that we must suffer to be real artists. We place social pressure on other artists by calling them “sell outs” if they make money.

A few years ago I decided to change those beliefs in myself. Why I started Alt Ethos and DATA.

  • I no longer wanted to live hand to mouth and work for someone that wasn’t necessarily treating me with respect.
  • I want to have a larger influence in the world and these organizations will allow a bigger reach.
  • I want to have money to create more opportunities for everyone.

I want to share with you today some of my what-ifs and ask that you add to that list.   

  • One of my favorite clear indicators in identifying your what-ifs is judgment and uncomfortability or contrast if you will.  

I want to ask, what are your what-ifs?

I encourage you right now and throughout this event to think about in what ways are you unsatisfied with the Denver Arts community?

What are you unsatisfied with or fearful of with Meow Wolf coming to town? Keep that and we will touch back on it later.

Is it gentrification? Is it access to space? Is it funding? Is that jobs? Is that all the above? Now take that statement and turn it into a  positive action – something that you are going to do to work on finding positivity in that problem.

Here are some of the facts as we know.

Meow Wolf is coming to town.

Meow Wolf anticipates 1.5 million people a year to their Denver site. I anticipate 3 to 5 million people a year. Now think about that – 5 million people a year coming to Denver to spend money in the creative economy.

  • What opportunities are there?
  • Where are these people going to stay where they can eat?
  • Where can they get their entertainment?
  • What are they going to buy as a souvenir?
  • What kind of art will they buy?
  • Where will they want to visit when they like to do it in a group as part of a tour?

So I just want to say that this isn’t about whether or not you like Meow Wolf.  

    • This is not whether or not you agree with the way that they’re going about expressing their art.  
    • This is not about whether or not they can hire you.
    • Or if they you think they favored one group of people over another.
  • This is about harnessing the energy with strategic planning in order to make the best possible outcome. This is happening.

 

So tonight and moving forward, we will all be gathering knowledge.

  • What do you want to do with this knowledge?
  • Do you want to sit around and complain and point fingers and say I can’t have that we can’t do this we can’t do that how come they’re doing this is how come they’re doing that?
  • Do you want to use this as an opportunity for a catalyst for change?
  • We already have some ideas of what is going to happen. We can look at Santa Fe and we can compare our own economy and how things are going here and we can take some guesses we can take some risks and we can enjoy ourselves along the way as a community.

So what if we could do that? What if we could do this together? Let’s make this city in this state the best experience we could ever imagine. You’re welcome to come with me and you’re welcome to lead the way. I promise to walk beside you. Together, let’s make some change.

There are so many people in this community already doing great things. It’s not fair to just sit back and say that they need to do more or do it this way or that. These people are putting their necks on the line. Through their experiences, they have a lot of information that if we all could harness it, would help make a better community. Let’s take advantage of some of that now. I welcome our panelists so gracious to spend their time with us and share their experience.

Read the blog series that inspired this event, The Meow Wolf Effect.

The Meow Wolf Effect

By now everyone in Denver is aware that Meow Wolf is coming to town. The overall reaction is one of anticipation as the famed immersive art experience from Santa Fe prepares for opening a 90,000 square foot experience in Denver in 2020. In this blog series, I will discuss such topics as the creative economy and how cities can best utilize this new form of entertainment. This overview will provide context as we explore how the Meow Wolf Effect will alter the ethos of Denver and perhaps a city near you.

The world is changing quickly as millennials and other generations alike hold increasing interest in experiences and Instagram over the purchase of material items. In 2016, Denver had the highest net annual migration of millennials of any metropolitan area in the United States (NYT). With an increasing millennial population and the fact that more than 75% of millennials “would choose to spend money on a desirable experience or event over buying something desirable” (Harris Group), how does a city like Denver keep up?

Denver is already leading the way in support of the creative economy with its Imagine 2020 Cultural Plan. Denver is actively striving for engagement in the arts that brings together local creative problem solvers. “Overwhelmingly, Denver residents believe that arts, culture and creativity contribute to the vitality of the city. Eighty-seven percent of Denver residents believe that arts, culture and creativity contribute to Denver’s economy, as reported in the scientific public survey conducted for the cultural plan. Additionally, 85 percent agree the sector attracts tourism. Eighty-one percent believe that arts, culture and creativity help develop active and unique neighborhoods.” – Imagine 2020. How does this all tie into the new addition of Meow Wolf to our community?

Alt Ethos Projection MappingA few months ago I attended a talk at the Commons on B-Corp Certification to explore the option for Alt Ethos. Meow Wolf officially became a B-Corp late 2017 and CEO Vince Kadlubek was there speaking on the experience. According to the B-Corp website, “carrying the B-Corp status holds for-profit companies up [to] rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.” With this kind of public declaration and actual certifiable commitment to transparency, a city and its counterparts would expect to work in collaboration with Meow Wolf to make the best experience for the city and its inhabitants.

So, how can local communities, cities, businesses, museums, and artists utilize this newfound momentum in Denver?  In a world where we need more support for creative thinking to solve current global and local issues, how can we launch a statewide effort to harness this momentum? Here are a couple of concepts that come to mind:

  • Hire an Experiential Design Company to stay relevant and help transform your museum, event, or corporate lobby into an experience that captivates audiences. (Alt Ethos)
  • Create a driving tour between Denver and Santa Fe that outlines arts and cultural offerings in towns along I-25 and US 160. Towns such as Mancos and Trinidad are already boosting their creative and cultural districts. (DenverPost)
  • Create tourism packages that include an “art experience” inclusive of Meow Wolf. Purposefully creating tours around the city that have “Meow Wolf” type of art and experiences. (Santa Fe Example)
  • Support local artists by attending events and purchasing art.
  • Support local nonprofits. We recommend:
    • CBCA works to advance Colorado’s creative economy by connecting business and the arts. We accomplish our mission through year-round advocacy, research, training, and arts engagement efforts
    • Denver Arts + Technology Advancement (DATA) whose mission is Empowerment Through Creative Technology. Helping ensure that ALL people have access to digital literacy.
    • RedLine supports artists and builds community in Denver and offers arts education and engagement between artists and communities to create positive social change.
    • Think 360 Arts leads Colorado in cultivating and sustaining the arts as essential to all learning through creative experiences for students and teachers.

In a time when change is needed, most people’s imaginations need to be sparked. Cities are in need of a defibrillator shock to kickstart a creative economy revolution. Perhaps The Meow Wolf Effect is that spark that will help ignite that change. We can always hope for the best outcome and welcome any opportunities to create change, but the responsibility falls on our local community. Together we can help Denver to become a more progressive, expressive city that is recognized worldwide. Please register to join Alt Ethos on Wednesday, April 18th, 2018 at the Commons on Champa at 5:30pm as we present Denver Vision: The Meow Wolf Effect and lead an open discussion on how Denver can galvanize The Meow Wolf Effect in hopes of setting an example for other cities.

For more information on this event, please contact us.

NOTE: The event has since ended, but you can watch the keynote and town hall discussion here.

Alt Ethos Meow Wolf Infinity Mirror

Alt Ethos Meow Wolf Connection:

Alt Ethos recently worked with Meow Wolf, providing a projection mapped balloon sculpture at the Meow Wolf Denver Announcement Party. Ethan Bach, Alt Ethos founding CEO met the Meow Wolf crew approximately ten years ago while living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Through his participation in the local arts community and serving as the Digital Dome Director at the Institute of American Indian Arts, Ethan and the group regularly engaged in the community.  Meow Wolf founders appropriated wood and other materials from Ethan’s garage for the building of the Due Return as many community members pitched in to support the local art group. Ethan also served on Javier for the Arts, an advisory committee for Javier Gonzales when he was running for Mayor, alongside Meow Wolf’s founding CEO Vince Kadlubek.

Alt Ethos is an experiential design studio that creates engaging experiences for events and permanent exhibitions. Alt Ethos creates engaging environments by transforming physical spaces into shared interactive experiences that meld various forms of light and sound into creative technology. We create moments that disrupt, engage, and inspire.

Meow Wolf is a Santa Fe, New Mexico based arts and entertainment group that established in 2008 as an art collective. They create immersive, interactive experiences to transport audiences of all ages into fantastic realms of story and exploration. The company is composed of nearly 200 artists across all disciplines including architecture, sculpture, painting, photography and video production, virtual and augmented reality, music and audio engineering, narrative writing, costuming and performance, and more. Basically everything.


The views, information, and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position or policy of Alt Ethos and its employee.

We reserve the right to delete, edit, or alter in any manner we see fit blog entries or comments that we, in our sole discretion, deem to be obscene, offensive, defamatory, threatening, in violation of trademark, copyright or other laws, of an express commercial nature, or otherwise unacceptable.