Code:ART Banner

The City of Palo Alto Public Art Program will host an interactive new media festival, Code:ART, October 7-9, 2021, 5 pm - 10 pm.  The three-evening festival will engage area locals in an event that outwardly reflects the creative community that thrives here.  The second iteration of Code:ART will once again temporarily reframe the City as a laboratory for urban interventions and creative placemaking while engaging commuters, residents, students and visitors in dialogue to re-imagine underutilized spaces. View the Code:ART Virtual Map to learn about installation sites, participating artists, and other multimedia content.

Destination Artwork

A major temporary new media artwork by Marpi Studio, displayed at Lytton Plaza, will anchor the three-evening festival and act as a major draw to downtown Palo Alto. Paleoalto is an interactive time machine. It is a portal from modern-day Palo Alto to a different time, where the superocean is awash with strange marine animals and the vertebrates are emerging onto new land. Visitors will see visualizations of these creatures, which they can interact with and watch as they drift and crawl through their ancient world.

For Code:ART, Marpi Studio, led by Alameda-based creative technologist and artist Marpi, is collaborating with the art and technology system designers and installers at Colour Feeders. Marpi Studio develops site specific interactive artwork for digital and physical spaces, with an emphasis on immersive projects where the audiences co-create the final experience. Colour Feeders specializes in the design, production, and deployment of large scale digital art installations.

Wave Atlas by Marpi Studio for The Tech Interactive

Image above: Wave Atlas by Marpi Studio, currently on display at The Tech Interactive

Urban Interventions

Six urban intervention installations by Bay Area and international artists will be installed in downtown Palo Alto, reimagining downtown spaces and exploring potential new uses of some of the sites. These interventions will include dynamic projections, immersive installations, responsive sound, light, and game-based experiences. 


CODED ARCHITECTURES 0.3 seeks to create a connection between technology, architecture, and society. The interactive mural features different combinations of black and white (based on the binary code from computers) that encode a message. The public is invited to decipher an encoded message that changes daily by using a binary-alphabet postcard. The mural is a technologically inspired piece without electronics.

Amor Munoz is a Mexico City-based artist, whose art includes textiles, performance, drawing, sound, and experimental electronics that explores the relationship between technology and society. Munoz has a special interest in the interaction between material forms and social discourse. She is particularly interested in how technology affects fabrication systems and how manual labor and handcrafts are changing in a contemporary global economy. 

CODED-ARCHITECTURE by Amor Munoz.jpg  


COLOR CURRENTS by Cory Barr is an interactive mural that invites participants to explore color space using motion. The directions that participants move create the color of the mural. Moving right creates red. Moving left creates the complementary color of cyan. Periodically, dots flow through the directions of color created by participants, creating color currents. 

Cory Barr’s multidisciplinary work challenges human perception, interpersonal interactions, and the nature of creativity. Viewer participation is essential to the form and content of Barr's practice. Viewers co-author the piece by interacting with it. This interaction creates moments of exchange between friends, strangers, and the space itself. 

Color Currents by Cory Barr

COSMIC CANNON by Jeffrey Yip

In many traditions, pyramids are made to honor ancestors. COSMIC CANNON invites Code:ART participants to honor their ancestors through a collaborative art and sound experience. The interactive multimedia installation brings family, friends, and strangers of all ages and backgrounds together in a shared creative environment. 

Jeffrey Yip is an interdisciplinary artist of color based out of Huichin (Oakland), on the unceded territories of Chochenyo, producing installations and performances with an emphasis on using technology as a creative tool. Yip often combines light and sound in physical as well as virtual spaces. His work explores technology as a means to facilitate healing as a form of radical justice.

Cosmic Cannon by Jeffrey Yip  

HYDRALA by Daniel Tran and Nick Sowers

HYDRALA is a lightweight interactive sound installation suspended in the stand of Magnolia trees in front of Palo Alto City Hall. Visitors are invited to explore the sculpture along, or with others. Hydrala deploys four channels of audio with sound levels that vary depending on the number of visitors and their movements underneath the sculpture. When no one is present, Hydrala emits a soothing sound inviting people to investigate the space. 

Hydrala by Daniel Tran


I/O by Ben Flatau

I/O (input output) is an interactive experience designed to highlight our love/hate relationship with technology as it can both act as an isolating factor, or uniting platform.

To highlight this divide, I/O resembles a physical barrier, where one side features an “input” wall where visitors manipulate a series of on/off boxes. On the other side of the barrier is an “output” split-flap display wall that updates in real time based on how visitors manipulate the input boxes. Participants on the input side and viewers on the output side together discover the correct input combination that reveals a hidden message. Will visitors find a way to overcome a literal wall of technology to achieve a common goal? Or will they let the tech-wall isolate themselves from the connections and richer experiences beyond?

The I/O team is made up of architects, designers, and technologists who each bring their own unique expertise and curiosity to producing public art, including Ben Flatau, Scott Bezek, Alex Lopez, Thomas Vogel, Tong Zou, Daniel Polk, Collin Wentzien, Gesthimani Roumpani, Teodora Velkova. Iva Monterrubio Langrova, Ana Williamson Architect, Tap Plastics. Ben Flatau is the lead organizer and design director for I/O. He's a licensed architect who enjoys exploring the intersection of technology within art, design, and fabrication. He enjoys nothing more than finding ways to share his artistic and technological interests with the greater public.

I/O by Ben Flatau_Input Wall  

I/O by Ben Flatau_Output Wall

LUMINOUS GROWTH by Liz Hickok, Phil Spitler, and Jamie Banes

LUMINOUS GROWTH includes a dynamic interactive large-scale projection and a sculptural installation. The projection features a video of a surreal cityscape that slowly floods and grows tree-like crystals. While the scene is larger-than-life, it stems from a hand-built sculpture placed inside an enclosed set, with a 360-degree camera recording the crystal growth through time-lapse photography. Viewers can engage with a tablet, enabled with a custom-designed app that allows them to pan, zoom, and control what is projected on the wall.

This urban intervention is a collaboration between artists Liz Hickok, Phil Spitler, and Jamie Banes. Jamie built the cityscape, Liz is the crystal and photography expert, Phil produced the 360-video and coding. Additionally, Conner Jones composed the sound. To make this project happened it took the creative team 2 years from concept to completion; 8 gallons of warm water; 15 days of crystal growth; and 53,700 individual frames. 

Liz Hickok is a San Francisco-based artist working in photography, video, sculpture and installation. San Francisco-based Phil Spitler uses innovative technology to create art across many media. Jamie Banes is an Alameda-based mixed media artist working with found and collected materials.

Luminous Growth Site Rendering.jpg

Luminous Growth Sculpture by Liz Hickok








Public Tours and Events

Public Art Program staff will offer free public tours each evening of all intervention sites. Various downtown partners will host public events, panel discussions, and other free programs about the role of arts and technology in creative placemaking and the future of cities.

Volunteer Opportunities

We are looking for volunteers to join the Code:ART team during the three-evening interactive new media festival, October 7-9, 2021! From providing support to participating artists to collecting visitor feedback, there are many fun and rewarding ways volunteers 15+ may contribute to this exciting outdoors public art event. Get involved!

Volunteer Sign-Up

Stay in Touch

Contact Palo Alto Public Art Program about community partnership and volunteer opportunities. Sign up to our monthly newsletter, and stay connected on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to learn more about Code:ART, its installations, participating artists, and volunteer opportunities. 

 View Highlights from Code:ART 2017 

 Code:ART 2021 event logo