Visitors to the new Eastbridge Town Center will find Talking Parking Meters, a public art installation by Denver artist Jim Green. Three ordinary looking parking meters are curiously placed in specific gathering areas in the plaza. Ordinary meters they are not; they contain motion sensors that, when activated, trigger greetings or familiar sounds not associated with a plaza. They don’t require coins and they don’t count down minutes.
This artwork is emblematic of Jim Green’s approach, which is to engage the public with humor and surprise. He wants to humanize public space by playfully introducing unexpected sound into the environment and to serve a broad audience, facilitating interaction and community.
Jim’s other artwork in Denver includes: Laughing Escalators at the Convention Center and the early installation of Singing Sinks in the lobby restrooms at the Ponti Building of the Denver Art Museum. He has been commissioned for sound art installations all over the country. Jim was assisted in this installation by Ryan Elmendorf, an electronics artist whose company is re:engineering.
How do the parking meters work? The parking meters, which house a sensor and a speaker, have a capacity for multiple sounds per meter and their soundboards can be programmed individually. The final programming will be determined through on-site testing and experimentation. Once a sound starts to play, it cannot be interrupted until its program is finished. They are expected to be live by late April.
Late spring and summer will see three new public art additions to the Stapleton Public Art Collection. Watch for the announcements of these North Stapleton installations.
Barbara Neal is the public art consultant for Stapleton. For more about public art in Stapleton, contact Neal at firstname.lastname@example.org.