Date: 2008,
reprised in 2012

Marshall Way Bridge,
Scottsdale, AZ

Commissioning Agency:
Scottsdale Public Art

Project Managers:
Diana Fisher, Sophie Hook

Neon-lit glass sign, microphone, computers, digital projectors, and custom software

Sign Fabrication:
Stonehenge Designs

2009 Public Art Network Year in Review

Amur Serenade is an interactive artwork that creates a playful connection between visitors to the Scottsdale waterfront and the Arizona Canal. Inspired by real fish (White Amur, a sterile carp) that the water company uses to clean the Valley's canals, computer-generated fish appear to swim below the bridge, projected onto the surface of the water. Another projector creates a slow procession of giant fish that seem to float out of the water and up the buildings along the canal.

A lighted glass sign on the bridge invites people to sing to the fish. As people talk, sing, the fish respond to their voices: turning colors on different notes and wiggling to the music. In the past few years, the Valley has begun to change the way it views the canals-- from an ugly utility that was hidden and ignored, to the existing framework for a system of useful and beautiful pedestrian spaces. This artwork was designed in this same spirit: to help people see the canal in a new and different way. Using the murky canal water as the projection screen (who knows what lives down there?) Amur Serenade invents a population of dancing, rainbow-hued fish living in the canal, who come up at night to dance. Visitors are invited to participate in the fantasy, by peering down into the water at the circling fish and by singing to them. Turning the tables on the usual art-audience situation, the visitors become the performers, and the fish become the audience, wriggling in response to the voices.