Engineers and artists respond to 5G and the powerful ideas it evokes

Innovation, technology and humanity took center stage March 9 at Sacramento’s Hacker Lab, where six pairs of engineers and artists showcased collaborative creations inspired by the future of connectivity and 5G technology.

The event, called “Engineers and Artists: Sacramento,” was sponsored by Verizon in partnership with the City of Sacramento.

Mayor Darrell Steinberg kicked off the show by highlighting the importance of innovation to the region’s past, present and future.

“(Sacramento) wants to be on the lead end, not following and watching what other cities are doing and benefiting from,” he said.

To create the works of art, Verizon paired an engineer with an artist. In most cases, the two had never met before. The pair then selected a theme to explore, including “Revealing the Invisible,” “The Future of Together,” “Speed & Humanity,” “Portraits of Engineers” and “Inside the Systems of Technology.”

Megan Carter, an engineer with the City of Sacramento, collaborated with local artist Aida Lizalde. Focusing on the “The Future of Together,” the two created an untitled installation featuring five maps of Sacramento presented in layers.

Viewed together, the partially transparent maps — illustrating streets, waterways, demographics and natural resorces — mesh time and place, with viewers always seeing the drawings in relation to one another.

“The inter-connectedness and unseen layers that come with the infrastructure of a city — and also the social and geographical layers of a city — were major concepts to the drawings,” Carter said.

The installation was designed to spotlight previously unseen connections and divisions, they said. “It attempts to illustrate a binomial aspect of how the city is fragmented and how it is also in unity,” Lizalde said.

Participating engineers and artists were chosen through a nomination process in collaboration with partner institutions including Verge center for the Arts, Sacramento State, The Shop at VSP Global, Hacker Lab, M5 Arts, Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, Blue Line Arts, The City of Sacramento, and Axis Art Gallery.

Sacramento in 2017 was selected as one of the first cities to host Verizon’s new ultra-fast wireless 5G network.


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