Aurora Dallas


Skills: FileMaker, PHP, Bootstrap, jQuery

Aurora is a free and public contemporary art exhibition centered in the 68-acre Dallas Arts District. The expansive and immersive exhibition presents interactive light, video, performance, and sound artworks in exciting and unexpected public spaces. Tens of thousands of attendees are given the unparalleled opportunity to see their familiar urban environment converted into an interactive site for some of the world’s most innovative contemporary art.

I connected with Aurora’s co-founders through my work with Art Conspiracy, where I’d already developed a database for managing events, artists and volunteers. After successfully producing and running Art Con 11 and Art Con 12 using FileMaker, Aurora reached out to me to see if I could build something similar for them.

Aurora and Art Con are both community art events, but the artist call process for Aurora is deeper. Organizers needed the web form to support multiple submissions for each artist, and the ability to include supporting PDFs and images. I addressed this by taking advantage of FileMaker’s web viewer object. Submitted files are renamed, serialized, and uploaded to an FTP server, and appropriate paths are sent back to the web viewer for display. Separating files from the database this way greatly reduced the overhead necessary to run the system.

For the curation process, specialized FileMaker layouts were developed to allow Aurora’s curators to gather selected artists into event zones. Artist information was exported from the database to generate event materials as well.

Update: I met recently with the Aurora team, and we’re already discussing how to expand this database solution for the next Aurora event. I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome for this project. Love being connected to this organization.