Pieces promote play, reflection and dreaming—and can teach us about ourselves, enrich our connection to the world
Photos by Sam Scudder
Sticky Co., a Portland- and Amsterdam-based artist team makes memorable multimedia. The work of this curious, arty, techy group spans mediums and genres. Last summer they installed in our historic, century-old round barn “Light Chimes,” a whimsical, motion-activated light-and-sound art piece (in collaboration with the Portland band little hexes).
The mash-up of light and sound involves 19 suspended interactive nodes that respond as people step beneath it. Movement activates each of the round lights’ vibrant colors and a range of harmonic tones. Since August, we’ve watched as “Light Chimes” instantly amazes and delights anyone who encounters it, from visitors from the community and local schools to University of Oregon journalism students, artists from around the country here for residencies and our staff, too.
Sean Healy, studio/project manager at Sticky Co., believes this kind of art plays a vital role in the intellectual well-being and collective imagination of a community. During these uncertain times, people hunger for ways to move beyond isolation and anxiety toward greater unity, and Sticky Co. embraced the opportunity to present “Light Chimes” here and call people out of the darkness to create something new, together.
The installation creates a dialog between traditional crafts and new technology, said Ana Varas, art projects coordinator at Pine Meadow Ranch Center for Arts & Agriculture. “It invites people to be very playful and create community,” she said.
“Light Chimes” has engaged attendees at the Portland Winter Light Festival and the Pickathon music festival and will be at the ranch through June. Sticky Co. clients include museums, corporations, transit hubs, festivals, and sports teams. These custom art projects elicit wonder, delight, and interaction, based on the belief that by seeding art throughout a civic landscape, the people who work and live there can benefit from the kind of nourishment that only art can provide. The works are created to promote the play of reflection, interpretation, and dreaming, so that public art can teach us about ourselves while enriching our connection to the world around us.
Other Sticky Co. projects include work such as the development of the Oregon State Capitol’s Welcome Center, which helps the 200,000 annual visitors explore building highlights and encourage them to discover events, places, and history throughout the state. Visitors are greeted with an image of Oregon that proclaims “WELCOME” in 36 languages, including 16 languages spoken by Indigenous Oregonians. Interactives throughout the room invite visitors to learn about things to do on the Capitol grounds and across the state.