Hack the Arts Hackfest Recap

They say things get better with time and our Fall 2015 Hackfest did not disappoint. We really let loose with an event centered around art and creativity. 

The rules were simple: the teams were formed night of the event and the same went for your code. In three hours or less teams were tasked with creating a web or mobile application in a tech stack of their choosing while accomplishing the challenge for the evening: marrying technology and fine/performing arts.

Performing and fine art communities often face a lot of technical challenges. Could we improve lives leveraging technology and art?

Through partnerships with Rocky Mountain Ruby Conf, SparkFun, and the Colorado arts community, we tried! This was our most creative hackfest to date.

A total of 7 teams presented their projects at the end of the night, judged completeness, adherence to the theme and, of course, creativity!


Some projects included a Right Shark game; a projection mapping of live tweets at event venues (with a possibility of tweets read aloud by William Shakespeare?); and app for displaying art found in coffee shops. 

The top prices were awarded to:

Color Mix – 1st Place

Color Mix, is an app that detects the colors from famous artists paintings and creates color spectrums based on percentage of hues. The spectrums have infinite applications, but could be used to study a particular artist’s use of color over time or to compare/contrast colors used by different artists. 


Galeria – 2nd place
Galeria used Sighthound´s integration with IFTT  to garner data about when a people stepped in front of a piece of art.  This was presented as a solution for museums to see which exhibits or art pieces were most engaging to visitors. 
“The beauty of this solution is that it is relatively inexpensive and easy to integrate with IFTT and Google Sheets for those organizations who might not have a budget to track certain metrics or spend on tech. With a little tinkering, it can also double as a security system, used in cases such as sending alerts to your phone during specific windows of time using the currently placed video recording system. This could remove the need of investing in things such as night guards or expansive video monitoring systems.” – Victor Rojas, member of hack team. 

Dance Monkey Puppeteers – 3rd Place

“We used breadboard, wires, buttons, LEDs, and a makey makey to create two “dancing puppet controllers”, which allowed a controller to light up individual limbs on a dancer. The idea was similar to Dance Dance Revolution – the dancer attempts to match their movements to the patterns on the lights made by the controller.” –



A volunteer made this video of the night’s festivities:


Special thanks to the partnership of Opera Colorado, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, The Colorado Symphony, Block 1750 (who gave a special performance during the evening). 


Our next hackfest will take place Nov 12 in Portland, Oregon. We hope to see you there!


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