Heart Deco (2010, 2011, 2012)
In May of 2010 artist Adam Ebel bought an early-70’s open-top double-decker British bus and brought together a team of engineers, friends, and creatives to build an ambitious mobile art + music installation. With only 8 weeks until their final deadline they got to work transforming this former SF-sightseeing tour bus into a something extraordinary. With the guidance of 2010 music lead, Seva – Adam purchased a large loudspeaker system that was adapted to the vehicle. The team also spent time focusing on excellent lighting, power distribution, and creating a mounting system to attach a large 25kW generator to the vehicle to power everything. The team also worked on making the interior into a 20’s-era inspired lounge which always inspired “oohs” and “ahhs” from our guests.
This wasn’t the teams first rodeo doing large-scale experiential art/design projects, but it was certainly the most complex, time-constrained, and challenging project that any of them had taken on. The team set the bar very high for design, materials, safety, and other considerations, and established ambitious design goals to meet their deadline. Throughout the course of these projects they all learned some valuable lessons about what it means to invest themselves fully in the creative process, and what it means for your partners and friends to do the same. The main purpose of Heart Deco was to bring an amplified positive vibe through art and music to everyone it touched or who encountered it.
The Phoenix Redesign (2013, 2014)
In 2013 Adam and the team decided to push the envelope on mobile art and community further and redesigned the project from the ground up. They began with design meetings and planning sessions, defining project milestones, scrutinizing renderings, gathering the necessary equipment, raw steel, tools, and other supplies. They started work on an elaborate “exo-frame” around the vehicle — a network of welded steel rectangle tube from the chassis up (and throughout) the top deck to provide additional support under heavy weight loads and other stress factors. This redesign was called “The Phoenix”.
Besides fabricating a massive aluminum Phoenix and a dozen steel faux-flames, another area of intense focus was developing a modular assembly on top of the vehicle to attach an array of these aesthetic elements.During this time the team was also working on various fundraising efforts — launching two successful crowd-funding campaigns and organized numerous live music events to support their funding goals.After many months of planning and construction the new exterior design was complete and it surpassed everyones expectations.
In late-2014 after 5 years of pioneering mobile art, music, and community in California and beyond the project leads agreed that it was time to take a break and the Phoenix project went into storage for 18 months.
In 2016 the Phoenix was resurrected for a single historic event, Terminus: the last Treasure Island warehouse party. It was held at the legendary Building 118 (also the facility where the Phoenix redesign happened) which was a historic art + creative facility that was targeted for demolition by the city of San Francisco to make way for redevelopment on the island (aka Condos). The event was a massive success, and one of the bay areas finest parties ever.
In early-2017 the decision was made to permanently decommission the project and donate its material assets to various organizations.