A Marvelous Work of Art in 80 tons of Sugar
In its ongoing partnership with one of the world's foremost public art organizations, Makeable collaborated with Creative Time and internationally renowned artist Kara Walker to bring an experience of her new work—A Subtlety—to life digitally. Walker’s physically and conceptually expansive work of art, measuring some 75.5 feet long, 35.5 feet high, and 26 feet wide, in the industrial relics of Brooklyn’s legendary and decaying Domino Sugar Factory responds to both the building and its history, exploring a radical range of subject matter and marking a major departure from her practice to date.
Sweet Collaboration—A Digital Sugar Baby
For this project, Makeable collaborated with Creative Time to design and develop a digital experience in line with the in-person experience of Kara Walker's Marvelous Sugar Baby. Our challenge was to both achieve the artist's desire to embrace the authentic "response" of her public while preserving the incredible impact of the installation––long after the Domino and the Marvelous Sugar Baby are destroyed. To achieve this, we brought design, technology and our audience together to bring a 3D, digital and interactive experience of the Sugar Baby to life––through their eyes, perspectives, iPhones and actions.
How We Confected Her
Over the two-month span of the exhibition, visitors were encouraged to photograph the sugarcoated, afro-centric sphinx and share their images on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #KaraWalkerDomino. The photos were aggregated and rendered as an authentic 3D digital sculpture that unfolded over the course of the exhibition. Each week, online visitors to the Digital Sugar Baby were able to interact with and explore all the contributions that made up the model. Unlike the physical installation and the iconic Domino Sugar factory, the Digital Sugar Baby will live on in memoriam to this public work, the artist, the site, and visitors. Forever.
The Digital Sugar Baby pays homage to the Subtlety, a 75 foot long, 35 foot high sculpture covered in 80 tons, or 160,000 pounds, of sugar located in the 132 year-old remains of the Domino Sugar Factory. This exhibit attracted 130,000+ visitors including the likes of celebrities, politicians as well as art enthusiasts. Over the course of 8 weeks, 7,000+ people contributed 15,500 photos of the afro-centric sphinx resulting in 224,000 Sugar Pixels that were rendered into 8 progressive 'editions' of our interactive, 3D experience.