Street object "texting project" promoting feedback for Mesa Arts Center

Posted at 10:52 PM, Mar 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-22 01:52:56-04

If you're in Mesa, you may see people stopped next to an object having a conversation. It may sound crazy, but it's part of a month-long city project promoting feedback for the Mesa Arts Center. 

More than 30 of Mesa's street objects are coming to life to respond to your texts. It's called "Hello, Lamp Post" and it's a $20,000 month-long project happening in Mesa. 

"There is a month of interaction with the public, and it also provides us the information we need for strategic planning," explained Cindy Ornstein, the Mesa Arts Center Executive Director. "How much less boring is it to text with objects and have fun?"

Ornstein first heard about the project at a conference. She was eager to bring it to Mesa to find out what they like, don't like and how they feel about the arts. Ornstein said the information will help the Arts Center grow. 

Simply follow the yellow stickers on the ground in Mesa and text the number on it. It corresponds to an object nearby, like a bench, table or lamp post. The object then "asks" questions related to the arts, operated by a server in London. 

"Some of the questions are silly; some will make you laugh out loud," Ornstein said. "And some are serious." 

Conversations can go on for hours, and the questions are always different. 

"Hello, Lamp Post" will be in operation until April 15.

"Well, it might not be for everyone, but we find most people are intrigued by opportunities to explore something new, so I would say just try it and see if you have any fun," said Ornstein.