Target Thursday Lights

Role - Technologist


  • Capacitance sensing
  • Podium build
  • On site install

“_In 2013 The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden was celebrating it’s 25th anniversary. Target, the lead sponsor, wanted to create an interactive installation piece in the Sculpture Garden that invited the audience to affect Target Lights (the largest LED display in the Midwest) from the Sculpture Garden, about a mile away.

Our challenge was to create a piece that was inviting, whimsical and technologically intriguing. We wanted the experience to be open for audience members of all ages, for it to be inclusive and to resonate with the Midwest. It hopefully brought attention to both the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and Target Lights, which has evolved into a space to showcase digital motion work to the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul._” —Tellart.


Tellart devised a custom software model that captured the feeling of fireflies’ bulbs, expressed as a cloud of jewel-like incandescent lights in classic Mason jars. As viewers approach the jars, the fireflies multiply and swarm. Eventually, this activity causes the lights to leap from the jar and emerge a mile away on the immense LED panels at the top of the Target headquarters downtown. These large-scale lights were controlled in real-time by viewers in the sculpture garden.

With 700,000 lights towering 34 stories above the street, Target’s headquarters LED display is the largest in the Midwest. Standing among the artworks in the garden, seeing the intimate actions of one’s hands turn this display into a light show for the entire city is truly a magical experience. It honors the spirit and history of the Midwest in summertime, and beautifully capped the garden’s 25th birthday celebrations.



These outdoor interactives were engineered to handle humidity and temperature variations, and were designed to draw attention from the firefly jars to the massive LED display.



Date: Jun, 2013

Author: Target, Tellart, Walker Art Center

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