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Public Art Concepts Compete for a Spot on Mid-Market

Mid-Market is set to receive a big new piece of public art, but will it come in the form of a crowdsourced video wall, a set of light-up objects, or perhaps a human-powered kinetic sculpture? The Kenneth Rainin Foundation's Imagining Central Market initiative will provide a $100,000 grant to one of five proposed artworks. The finalists, all of which call for some form of public engagement, are currently featured in an online gallery. A winner will be selected in August.

Light Up Central Market
This project would illuminate three existing public murals and add two new light installations and a pair of glowing benches. Lighting and sound elements on the benches would be activated by motion and pressure sensors. The art, which would be located on Market between Fifth and Seventh streets, is designed to draw pedestrian traffic farther down Market.

Public Canvas
Crowdsourced video content collected via social media would be streamed onto a wall on Market Street's Wilson Building above the Village, a new technology and arts facility. Once a month, the dance group BANDALOOP would perform against a background of the video projections. The artwork would also propose new questions to the community each month to generate new video fodder.

Heard/Unheard Communities
The Center for New Music would like to turn foot traffic and other pedestrian data into a kind of collective urban concert. The project would consist of a primary installation on Taylor Street and two movable listening stations. As with most interactive art these days, sensors are somehow involved. If you get it, explain it to us, please?

Musical Pedals
Proposed for UN Plaza, this human-powered kinetic artwork would consist of six sculptures in the shape of musical notes. Passersby could play the sculptures by pressing on sets of pedals, which power a pipe organ. The sculpture is meant to encourage strangers to work together to create a melody.

UN Plaza: Pause, Play, Connect
SF Beautiful and the Exploratorium want to create a large-scale installation at UN Plaza, something both arty and technological, they say. They're not offering many details at the moment, but if it's anything like Whispering Dishes, we're interested!

· Imagining Central Market [Kenneth Rainin Foundation]
· SF rolls out innovation zones with 'Whispering Dishes' piece
[SF Examiner]
· Previous coverage of public art [Curbed SF]