July's Awesome Ottawa award goes to Mark Stephenson, Michael Grant, and Darcy White, to support the development of a social game they are calling "Firefly." Participants will wear an interactive pendant the three are designing, and navigate through various locations at this year's Nuit Blanche, as well as other local events.
"Collectively, the participants become the visual expression of the work of art," explains Mark. "Their patterns of movement and social interaction create a spectacle of light and data." Participants will need to keep the fireflies healthy, while "unlocking" patterns and colours, Mark continues. "Fireflies are social. Don’t let them get lonely and sick. And pendants remember the other fireflies they meet, so participants can find out afterward how social a firefly they were."
Mark, Michael, and Darcy together have backgrounds in art, design, technology, the web, and engineering, as well as a shared interest in making and hacking with technology and a fascination in social interactions. The pendants will be built on the Arduino platform, so that after the event they can be repurposed and hacked, and the technology and software will be released to the open source community. Mark, Michael, and Darcy also intend to organize community events to help build the pendants and share skills.
Funded by Ottawa, ON (July 2013)