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 built a database for managing events, artists, and volunteers. After producing and running Art Con 11 and Art Con 12 using FileMaker, Aurora reached out to see if I could make something similar for them.
The artist call process for Aurora goes deeper than Art Con’s. Organizers needed a web form to support multiple submissions for each artist, and the ability to include supporting PDFs and images. I solved this taking advantage of FileMaker’s web viewer object. Submitted files are renamed, serialized, and uploaded to an FTP server, with appropriate paths sent to FileMaker for display (PHP). Separating files from the database this way greatly reduced the overhead necessary to run the system.
For curating, specialized layouts were developed allowing Aurora’s curators to easily gather selected artists into event zones. Artist information was later exported from FileMaker to generate marketing and other event materials like signage and banners.