The Palo Alto Public Art program has installed Chime, an interactive sound sculpture the public is invited to enjoy at King Plaza outside City Hall.
Chime was designed and built by artists Dan Gottwald and Scott Watkins to allow for physical interaction by multiple users at once.
Users can create their own musical experience by pushing the large curved panels that make up the outer walls of the sculpture. That then activates the pendulums hanging inside to create the melodic sounds.
"Though there is no electronic component of Chime, it is built to respond to touch," artist Dan Gottwald says. “A simple push on one large wooden panel set into motion a series of sounds, an exploration of connectivity and smiles.”
On display until August 8, Chime is part of a series of temporary public art installations in King Plaza, offering new rotating exhibitions on an ongoing basis. The artists will monitor and tune the musical artwork each week.
“Palo Alto's King Plaza is the ideal location to establish a sustainable venue for public discourse through the arts,” Public Art Program Manager Elise DeMarzo says. “We are thrilled to bring Chime to Palo Alto – the artwork will become a natural gathering place and help us strengthen the community through art and music.”
Dan Gottwald is a sculptor, instrument builder, video and installation artist and composer. His work focuses largely on the tactile and the temporary, and has been shown and performed in Albuquerque and Santa Fe as well as in Oakland where he currently resides.He has developed and taught art curricula in Albuquerque, New Mexico in conjunction with AmeriCorps, OFF Center Community Arts Project, The Harwood Art Center, the Southwest Organizing Project and the Montessori of the Rio Grande. Gottwald holds a BFA in Studio Arts from the University of New Mexico and a MFA in Electronic and Music from Mills College.
Scott Watkins is an urban designer and current graduate student at Mills College. Scott is committed to research sharing and mainstreaming innovative strategies such as Active Design and Climate Cool Zones to promote and enhance healthy, affordable and resilient neighborhoods to form strong local economies. Watkins’ main interest is to foster social and economic vitality through human oriented urban design, and creating destinations that increase both physical and emotional well-being.