The Idea Rover is an interactive art installation that will be traveling around Whatcom County this summer on a bike trailer with the purpose of gathering community input. The Rover was conceptualized by a Bellingham-based collaborative group with a long-term vision to develop a multi-faceted and broadly accessible interactive space in Bellingham, Washington.
Part curiosity cabinet, part up-cycled steampunk message machine, the Idea Rover will share and hear a variety of ideas around the topics of play and interactive art. The Idea Rover Team is on a mobile mission this summer to discover what our neighbors in Bellingham like to do for fun, how they get creative, and what inspires them to play and interact with others.
The Rover came into being thanks to the incredible efforts of Mount Vernon-based sculptor Tyler Gordon (www.tyleragordon.com). Gordon, whose focus is on social practice and the use of sustainable materials spent the last several months putting the goals of our fledgling group into action, creating the Rover’s curious and playful form. Gordon scavenged thrift and Re-Stores in the area to construct the various components of the Rover. Drawers and contraptions all over the sculptural, kinetic object inspire the question “What is that thing?”
A closer investigation will reward the visitor with experiences that engage the senses through sound-activated switches and buttons that invite touch, close-viewing ocular devices to see things from different perspectives, moving gears people can set into motion, creation stations to add their own artwork to the piece, and antiquated speaking and recording devices to leave messages and communicate in a variety of ways.
The Idea Rover was made possible through the Whatcom Community Foundation’s (WCF) Project Neighborly Grant and the Fiscal Sponsorship of Allied Arts of Whatcom County. Through the Whatcom Community Foundation’s Project Neighborly Grant, the WCF supports projects and ideas that promote neighborliness and bring people together from diverse backgrounds and experiences in an exchange that builds understanding and respect. The WCF selected The Idea Rover as one of its funded projects for its 2018 grant cycle. Please read more about the Project Neighborly Grant goals through the link below: