Digital Buskers is a participatory screen-based experience reigniting these unexpected and engaging moments with the arts in the public space. Pre-recorded performances are waiting to be played behind a digital red curtain on a large-scale public screen. Passersby are invited to turn a crank located close to the screen to open the curtain and then experience one of the performances, each set in a virtual world that enhances the artist’s universe. When the experience ends, the curtain closes until someone turns the crank again.
Digital Buskers premiered in May 2023 in Aotea Square, Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. Eight local artists contributed to this first iteration of the project. We intentionally selected a diversity of genres to celebrate the richness of the performing arts from musicians to poets and acrobats, all inspired by and/or performing New Zealand Music.
A web app accompanies the experience. A QR code on the plinth with the crank directs the audience to a dedicated webpage. The landing page invites you to know more about the artist currently playing on the screen. Photos, information and links to their social media platforms are displayed. The audience is also encouraged to share their appreciation for the performance by sending emojis to the public screen. Artists have the option to embed a donation function into their page.
Digital Buskers was commissioned by Auckland Live and designed by DOTDOT studio to explore the city’s public arts activations from a digital placemaking point of view. The aim was to harness the unique connection between passersby and buskers while allowing the technology to expand the reach for the artists.
3D Art & Animation
Hardware Design & Fabrication