By Adam Waltz
PHOENIX – Follow the yellow dots around Downtown Mesa and explore the newest interactive work of digital art. All it takes is your phone, and putting your thumbs to work.
Mesa is the second city to test out the Hello Lamp Post Project, which challenges you to literally text inanimate objects in Downtown Mesa and around the Mesa Arts Center. Then the objects, like a lamp post, a bike rack, and various art sculptures, respond to you with clever responses and questions.
“It’s going to ask you questions [about] what you’ve experienced at Mesa Arts Center perhaps or in downtown,” said Cindy Ornstein, Executive Director, Mesa Arts Center. “It may ask you some silly things. It may ask you what the meaning of life is.”
Stop at one of the 32 yellow circles around Downtown Mesa and the Mesa Arts Center and text each items specific code to the number provided, and simply wait for a text back.
Here’s a sample from a text conversation with a lamp post:
Me: “Hello Lamp Post #Mesa3”
Lamp Post: “Good afternoon. You’re new aren’t you? I have a few questions for you. If you were as tall as me, what would you do?”
Me: “Well, if I’m being honest I would probably hit my head on a lot of doorways …”
Lamp Post: “I quite like being able to oversee everything. Someone told me “Sway in the wind” Tell me this: What am I shining my light on when it’s dark?”
Hello Lamp Post will take you from the Mesa Arts Center, over to the Nile Theater, I.D.E.A. Museum, and, if you wander far enough into Downtown Mesa, you’ll run into a dinosaur sculpture who sits in front of the Arizona Museum of Natural History.
“The response so far has been fantastic. People have been really excited about what a fun and different project this is,” said Ornstein.
The Hello Lamp Post Project will be in Mesa until April 15. If you’d like to see other people responses to the clever questions, visit the Hello Mesa site.