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XYZ ATLAS


XYZ ATLAS Congress Avenue


ART PROJ ECT CATALOG The XYZ Atlas asks why we feel a sense of belonging to a place by mapping experiences and collecting stories that document our highs and lows. The XYZ Atlas is an interactive public art project. We create art, maps, and activations that affect community health and well-being, urban planning, and cultural tourism with diverse outreach strategies to reach art lovers and underserved communities of all ages.

XYZ Atlas: Congress Avenue, commissioned in 2017 by the Downtown Austin Alliance, is a Heart of the Community project supported by a grant from Southwest Airlines in partnership with Project for Public Spaces.

photos: Jennifer Ramos

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COM MU N IT Y: EN GAGEMENT XYZ Atlas: Congress Avenue was commissioned by the Downtown Austin Alliance as a temporary, interactive and collaborative public art initiative. Its purpose is to map the emotions people feel along Congress Avenue by reframing the idea of

place not as land, streets and buildings, but as places connected to emotion and meaningful moments in people’s lives. It helps advance the Alliance’s goal of transforming Congress Avenue into a truly exceptional place -- the greatest street in Austin and one of the great

photo: Jennifer Ramos

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streets of the world. The maps and stories captured through the survey and interactive events reveal how we are connected to one another and our surroundings through emotional experiences. The answers will also inform the stakeholder engagement process of the Congress Avenue

Urban Design Initiative, a streetscapes improvement project by City of Austin Public Works Department in partnership with the Downtown Austin Alliance. The Initiative creates an urban design and implementation strategy for the future of Congress Avenue as a human-centric, multi-functional, complete street with a clear and attractive identity.

photo: Jennifer Ramos

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X YZ ATL AS CO N GRESS AVEN U E TEA M COMMISSIONED BY THE DOWNTOWN AUSTIN ALLIANCE ARTIST & PROJECT DIRECTOR JENNIFER CHENOWETH CO LL ABO R ATO RS RO B ERT WH ITEH U RST, R EB EK AH WH ITEH U RST, E MI LY PR AT TE, N I C K ER I CHSO N, D EVAN H U PAYA, S EAN CH R ISTO PH ER, JAY RO FF-GARCIA AN EMPHATIC THANK YOU TO: Southwest Airlnes, The Project for Public Spaces, The City of Austin's Art in Public Places Division, The City of Austin's Innovation Office, and the City of Austin's Parks and Recreation Department, The Old Bakery and Emporium, Townlake YMCA, the Stephen F. Austin Hotel, Royal Blue Grocery, the Design Institute for Health at the Dell Medical School, Fusebox Festival, SXSW, Industry Print Shop, Rafael Moreno, Aaron Weiss, Aly Candeles, Jude Hickey, Scott Roskilly, Jennifer Ramos, Amy Morrow, Elizabeth Hartzell, Kelsey Oliver, Wendy Rucci, Cheles Mason Rhynes, Aundre Wesley, Johnathan Bookout, Martin Perez, Holly Fisher Sabiston, Roberto Ojeda, Robby Lee, Lawrence Vanston, Hart Blanton, Robert Davis, Representative Eddie Rodriguez, Lauren Rangel, Andrea Hyland, Jade Walker, Steve Juscen, Chad Kirby, Ashley Davidson, Taylor Shepherd, Chico Jones, Justin Mead, Chris Davis Cina. Many more contributed to the project as well.


photo: Jennifer Ramos

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EMOTIO NS Our experiences cause us to feel emotions. Psychologist Robert Plutchik developed a theory of emotion classifying general emotional responses. He considered there to be eight primary emotions—anger, fear, sadness, disgust, surprise, anticipation, trust, and joy.

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Creating a more nuanced color wheel, artist Jennifer Chenoweth began using this theory to visualize acceptance as a tool for healing. Creating hand-drawn emotion flowers, she began an exploration of ways to share Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions through art.


Robert Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions, Jennifer Chenoweth's Color Wheel XYZ ATLAS · 11


photo: Jennifer Chenoweth

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I N TH E H EART O F AUSTI N In October 2016, Southwest Airlines and the Project for Public Spaces partnered with SXSW Eco to create the Place by Design Outdoor Lounge at Brush Square Park. This transformed one of Austin's original public spaces into a place of pop-up discovery, experimentation and fun. The XYZ Atlas' 20' Vertex sculpture was commissioned as the centerpiece for the park.

After a conversation about the Heart of the Community Program, the Downtown Austin Alliance was awarded a seed grant by Southwest Airlines and the Project for Public Spaces to commission an engagement project on Congress Avenue. They selected the XYZ Atlas to capture, map and celebrate the emotions experienced by people on the Avenue.

During SXSW Eco, the XYZ Atlas was also a finalist for the Art + Interaction category of the Place by Design pitch competition. In the audience were representatives from Southwest Airlines and the Project for Public Spaces.

photo: Jennifer Ramos

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DEEP ETH IC S O F O PTIMISM XYZ REMiX is a performance of dance portraits by local movement company The Theorists. The work experimented with the XYZ Atlas sculptures in relation to attendees of the XYZ Atlas celebration at 800 Congress Ave in April. The performance was inspired by "hiraeth", a Welsh word roughly referring to a longing for a sense of home. The word has no direct

English translation, so we dance to convey meaning. The movement uncovers a deep, wistful, nostalgic yearning for people and places of our past, but rather than live life in retrospect, we remix to let go. We dance to survive, to simplify, and be in relationship. We draw inspiration from the daily practice of Deborah Hay created over the past 45 years off South Congress.

photo: Jennifer Ramos

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The Theorists experiment with her question “What if there is here?’ We continue to presume, “What if the space is not empty?” What if dance is not a verb we enact, but a phenomenon we experience? What if we are always connected by vibrating filaments filling the space between us? What if we are always in relationship if we presume to ask

“What if there is here?” This is The Theorists’ remix of repertoire, resonating with questions, experimenting with impossible tasks to simply practice “the deep ethics of optimism.” This is the pulse of XYZ REMiX. -Amy Morrow The Theorists

photo: Jennifer Ramos

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XYZ Atlas is founded by Jennifer Chenoweth with the launch of XYZ Atlas: The Hedonic Map of Austin.

2013

The project is widely covered in local press, and the project is invited for a series of pop-up art installations and events throughout Austin. A partnership with the University of Texas Department of Psychology brings colorful flower-shaped diagrams to the Seay building on the UT Austin campus.

2014

2015

MAY

XYZ Atlas is displayed at the Elisabet Ney Museum during West Austin Studio Tour with initial installation of “Dance of the Cosmos” sculpture.

SEPTEMBER

XYZ Atlas TEMPO commission of the “Public Sentiment Campaign” moves throughout parks in Austin with a finale at Austin’s New Year’s at Auditorium Shores.

NOVEMBER

XYZ Atlas comes to Texas A&M University for GIS Day, where passersby documented their own emotional experiences on a large-scale map of the surrounding area with flags and markers.

FEBRUARY

XYZ Atlas is included Bryan/College Station Diversity Open Data BuildDay, a 24-hour interdisciplinary competition to address challenges posed by members of the Texas A&M community dedicated to social justice.

MARCH

XYZ Atlas is an official South by Southwest art instillation, with a site-specific mapping experience occurring at Palmer Auditorium for SXSW Create and in front of the Long Center during SXSW Music.

APRIL

Austin Mayor Steve Adler issues proclamation naming April 20, 2016 as “XYZ Atlas Celebration Day”.

MAY

XYZ Atlas: The Hedonic Map of Austin finale shows during West Austin Studio Tour, on display in an interactive exhibition in the Barton Springs Bathhouse through August.

SEPTEMBER

The State of Texas Map, allowing attendees to map their emotional highs and lows across Texas, debuts at the Texas Tribune Festival.

2016

OCTOBER

XYZ Atlas is selected as one of 36 international finalists in SXSW Eco’s Place by Design Competition. During the conference, “Vertex” sculpture debuts in the Place by Design Outdoor Lounge held in Brush Square Park.

FEBRUARY

XYZ Atlas – The Experience Map of Bryan & College Station launches with funding from the Mid-America Arts Alliance and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Design Institute for Health announces a collaboration with XYZ Atlas at Fusebox Festival in a SXSW panel.

2017

MARCH

XYZ Atlas – Congress Avenue launches with exhibitions and events through April. To promote the project, “Vertex” is displayed at the corner of Cesar Chavez Street and Congress Avenue. “Dance of the Cosmos” moves to its permanent home in Patterson Park in East Austin.

MAY

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The exhibition of XYZ Atlas – The Experience Map of Bryan/College Station opens at the Brazos Valley African American Museum and the “Vertex” will be on display through August in downtown Bryan.


With approvals by the Arts Commission and the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Austin, XYZ Atlas: Congress Avenue debuts with the installation of the “Vertex” on the southwest corner of Cesar Chavez at Congress, at the north end of the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge.

The digital platform launches online at XYZatlas.org/survey.

MARCH

The Old Bakery and Emporium hosts the 8’ sculpture and magnetic signboard during SXSW in the pocket park.

By invitation of SXSW, the Design Institute for Health presents a panel on design and technology introducing the collaboration with XYZ Atlas, Fusebox Festival and Janssen Research to create a healthy community.

The yellow and orange location marker is installed on the awning of the Royal Blue Grocery at 6th and Congress. XYZ Atlas is a featured art installation at Art City Austin at Palmer Auditorium. XYZ Atlas exhibits at the Townlake YMCA.

2017 XYZ Atlas exhibit collaborates with Our Congress Avenue, an Urban Design Initiative of the City of Austin for events at 800 Congress.

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XYZ Atlas exhibits at the Frost Bank Tower.

The Design Institute for Health debuts a survey for the Fusebox Festival, participants are rewarded with Google Cardbord viewers. XYZ Atlas accompanies the collaboration with Fusebox Festival at the Long Center.

APRIL XYZ Atlas breakfast and art for our homeless neighbors on Congress, hosted by the Old Bakery and Emporium, a collaboration with the City of Austin’s Innovation Office.

XYZ Atlas exhibits at the Texas State Capitol for the Austin American-Statesman Cap10K Run. XYZ Atlas exhibits at downtown Pease Elementary School’s Fine Arts Night. XYZ Atlas exhibits at 823 Congress Avenue. The blue location marker is installed on the balcony of the Stephen F. Austin Hotel at 7th and Congress.

JUNE

XYZ Atlas: Congress Avenue maps, videos, and catalog about the project are released.

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WHERE ARE WE FEELING EMOTIONS? HOW CAN WE MAP OUR EXPERIENCES? ARE THERE COLLECTIVE PATTERNS?

JOY

TRUST

FEAR

SURPRISE

LOVE

SUBMISSION

AWE

DISAPPROVAL

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HOW DO WE FORM ATTACHMENTS TO PLACES? WHAT GIVES US A SENSE OF BELONGING? WHY DOES A PLACE FEEL LIKE HOME?

SADNESS

DISGUST

ANGER

ANTICIPATION

REMORSE

CONTEMPT

AGGRESSION

OPTIMISM

photo: John Peters

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WHERE IS THE HEART OF A COMMUNITY?

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photo: Amy Morrow

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CO NGR ESS AVEN U E M APS These maps are created through geographic data gathered from people's responses and transform individual experience into collective patterns.

Through an interactive question and answer series, 378 participants answered a written 8-question survey about their life experiences and where they occurred.

2017 Congress Avenue Experience Maps Created by Sean Christopher 24 ¡ XYZ ATLAS


The locations were captured in a GIS (geographic information system) mapping program and coded to an emotional color chart. When emotion is connected to location, location is no longer space, but place. The cartographer and collaborator for these aerial photos and data maps is Sean Christopher. On the digital survey, we asked the 8 questions that you've seen on the previous 8 spreads of the catalog, and we've included a few anonymous answers to each of those questions. At some events, we also offered a paper survey for individuals to fill out by hand. We additionally asked some basic demographic questions, such as home ZIP code, age, gender, ethnicity, and whether they were local visitors, tourists, downtown residents or downtown workers. The project took place during March and April 2017 on Congress Avenue from the Texas State Capitol on the north to Lady Bird Lake on the south.

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WHERE DO YOU FEEL ALIVE AND EXCITED?

¿En qué lugar te sientes vivo y emocionado? photo: Jennifer Ramos

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I'm thinking of all the times I've been to the Paramount or the State Theater, but most recently last week after a show sitting with friends outside at the bar of the Stephen F. Austin, gazing at the Paramount sign and reliving a great show.

JOY Alegria

Watching the bats fly out from under the Congress Street bridge reminded me of the beauty of nature and confirmed the idea that all things have a purpose and are part of the diverse life of our planet.

I had just quit my company, turned away my only investor and had decided to started my new company all on my own. I was filming a scene for our first pilot project on the lawn of the Capital. Two Marines were standing in front of me folding an American flag standing at salute. Their perfectly timed actions took the scene over the top. At that moment, I knew I had made the right decision.

Looking up Congress from the bridge, where you can see the Austin skyline with the Capitol right in the middle of your view.

photo: Gopika Nair

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WHERE WAS YOUR FAITH IN HUMANITY RESTORED?

¿Dónde se restauró tu fe en la humanidad? photo: Jennifer Ramos

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The gay pride parade, watching people unite in love.

TRUST Confianza

It was when I first heard: "Say it loud, say it clear, immigrants are welcome here."

First Night in Austin, parade participant for NYE 2007. Handed out bread to strangers.

2017 Women's March. As a male, I was apprehensive about supporting and if I would be welcomed there. It was the most human experience I've ever shared. Total love and support. It was magical.

On 5th and Congress, I once saw a street performer being cheered on by a very large group who were clapping and dancing.

photo: Margit Gitta Pap

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WHERE HAVE YOU FACED YOUR OWN MORTALITY?

¿Dónde experimentaste tu propia mortalidad? photo: Jennifer Ramos

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I was almost hit by a person driving a car at the intersection of Congress and 7th. He simply wasn't paying attention and it could have caused an incapacitating injury or death for me.

FEAR Miedo

I was threatened by an aggressive panhandler who rushed toward me threatening bodily injury.

My friend and I were walking toward Congress from the Capitol and suddenly there was a very violent low speed car collision. The car flipped over and papers flew out of the windows. Fortunately, no one was hurt. We were looking right at it when it happened, and I could not tell you what caused the accident. Anything can happen anytime.

By working with and knowing so many other people, you also get to realize that life can sometimes end quickly and unexpectedly.

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WHERE DID YOU HAVE AN EPIPHANY?

¿Dónde tuviste una experiencia que hizo que tu percepción cambiara? photo: Jennifer Ramos

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SXSW 2005 was my introduction to Austin. I was blown away by the open artistic community. While walking down 6th street on a Friday afternoon I knew this is where I was supposed to be.

SURPRISE

I was running on Town Lake and the fog was coming up from the water and I was amazed by the beauty of this city. I realized that I was where I wanted to live. I felt lucky that I realized this. A lot of people don't know they aren't where they want to live.

Sopresa

Seeing WWII vets in the Veteran's Day parade. I had my camera with me and I made eye contact with this beautiful old Veteran and he waved and smiled at me. I have a great photo of him. His eye contact and smile woke me up to the fact that these heros are still alive.

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WHERE DID YOU EXPERIENCE DEEP SADNESS?

Dónde sentiste tristeza profunda? photo: Jennifer Ramos

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I had my first showing here of visual art. The piece was about labor and exploitation in my home country Venezuela. No one seemed to take a second glance or care to ask what it was about. I felt that no one cared what happened to my people, despite being in a supposedly Latino-positive space.

SADNESS When Las Manitas closed.

Tristesa

Just seeing the huge numbers of homeless at this section is so very sad. I can't help them all and there are so many...

While listening to the legislature I was saddened and angry at the their unwillingness to consider other views.

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WHERE DID YOU FEEL DISGUST?

¿Dónde sentiste disgusto total? photo: Jennifer Ramos

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There is no story. 6th and congress is the 'Times Square' of Austin, which is to say I can be reliably disgusted, disappointed, irritated, excited, solicited, encouraged, or ennervated and it all depends entirely upon what it is i want to see.

DISGUST Disgusto

Got cat-called!

When we marched against the invasion of Cambodia and were denied a parade permit by the City, which was overruled by a federal court. We marched but Texas Rangers with sniper rifles were on top of buildings all along Congress Avenue even though the march was completely peaceful.

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WHERE DID YOU LEARN YOUR TRUST HAD BEEN BETRAYED?

¿Dónde estabas cuando descubriste que tu confianza había sido traicionada? photo: Jennifer Ramos

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A person I loved and trusted was completely oblivious towards my physical safety.

ANGER Ira

I had a job in this building and it became clear I needed to leave.

The activities within the statehouse shock and appall me just about every legislative session.

I found out my wonderful new boyfriend was married with a family. He had failed to mention this.

When the post office moved to a location where I cannot park, I felt betrayed.

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WHERE DID YOU BECOME ABSORBED IN THE UNCERTAINITY OF WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

¿Dónde te encontraste absorto en la incertidumbre de lo que sucederá después? photo: Jennifer Chenoweth

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I spent several months in late '98, early '99 up on scaffolding, 50' above the street, restoring the sign of the State Theater. Within 2 weeks I got a bird's eye view of W's second inaugural parade (Leslie ended up riding in the back seat of the UT model T- he was easily the most popular attraction in the parade), then the Ricky Williams Heisman parade.

ANTICIPATION Anticipacion

First Night in Austin - the traveling artistic performers on the Congress Avenue Bridge.

We did our review for the Texas bar exam in the ballroom of the Driskill! It was so hot that summer, and I couldn't afford air conditioning. But the Driskill was lovely, and things were changing.

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photos: Jennifer Ramos

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photos: Jennifer Ramos

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photos: Jennifer Ramos

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top photo: Jennifer Chenoweth

top photo: Dana Hansen

photo: Holly Sabiston

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WHAT I F YOU R ZI P CO DE IS 787?? Many people who live, work and visit Congress Avenue encounter many individuals who have no resources and no true home. In April, we produced a free breakfast for those experiencing homelessness at a pocket park outside The Old Bakery and Emporium, a City of Austin Parks and Recreation Cultural Arts Facility. The City of Austin's Innovation Office, Front Steps, and individual volunteers helped administer the XYZ Atlas Congress Avenue

survey, and we provided food, art, and music. Coloring pages allowed people to sit and draw together. The Bronze Band played and created music for us and the people passing near us from a march at the Capitol. We heard stories of emotional experiences on Congress, of fear, of anticipation, of assault, of sadness. I cooked breakfast and learned that these people are not usually allowed to even serve themselves food.

photos: Chris Davis Cina

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I realized there is no place where a homeless person is allowed or welcomed. Does a that person have any friends or consistent people to connect with? No one welcomes, greets or apprecicates a person experiencing homelessness. In Austin, with our growing population and widening economic divide, the number of

homeless in Austin is increasing rapidly. If we are asking what experiences people have that give people a sense of belonging, what do we do for our Austinites without a home? How do we create positive experiences that allow healing and change? -Jennifer Chenoweth Artist

photo: Chris Davis Cina

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ALL TH E AUSTI N ITES As we sat down to talk, draw, and color our experiences and emotions, one of our neighbors experiencing homelessness was timid around the art supplies. I asked him what his favorite color was. His eyes opened wide. "I don't remember the last time anyone asked me that!" Another one of our neighbors experiencing homelessness said that he wished he could change how people thought about homelessness. Another said a place he had

experienced joy was right there with us on that day. We know from research as well as experience that people have various emotional reactions to visible urban poverty and homelessness. Perhaps through art and conversation, big people with big emotions might just find the answers we need. -Kerry O'Connor Chief Innovation Officer, City of Austin

photos: Kerry O'Connor

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photos: Nick Erichson

top photo: Chris Davis Cina

photo: Nick Erichson

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photos: Chris Davis Cina

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top photos: Jennifer Ramos

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bottom photos: Holly Sabiston


top photo: Jennifer Ramos

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photos: Jennifer Ramos

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top photos: Jennifer Ramos

bottom photos: Jennifer Chenoweth


top left photo: Jennifer Ramos

other photos: Jennifer Chenoweth


photos: Jennifer Ramos

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SM ALL ART AN D PROTOT YPES Looking to establish a more palpable connection to the XYZ Atlas project for your home or to gift to friends and other loved ones? Individual maps and prints are available to download or order for your enjoyment. Many of the 3-D artworks were prototyped using 3-D printing, including the Vertex linear shape depicting the “You Are Here” location marker. The 3-D printed model is 9" tall and hand painted by the artist.

engineer John Dolecek. The 5-inch brass version, which is also kinetic, is a collaboration with artist Matt Norris. There are still limited editions available online at XYZatlas.org. XYZ Atlas also has puzzles, shirts and many other ways to play with getting right to the heart of our experiences and how they create meaning in our lives. Visit XYZatlas.org to order and for more information.

The Dance of the Cosmos small sculptures are kinetic, and open and close. One version is 3-D printed, and is a collaboration with

photos: Jennifer Ramos

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Fisterra Projects is a 501(c)(3) micro arts nonprofit. We love your support and collaboration. Fisterra Projects’ mission is to explore how visual art can help people make deep and transformational insights into their lives. Art can be a powerful tool for change. Fisterra was founded in 1999, later receiving its nonprofit status.. XYZ Atlas is one of Fisterra's projects, and began in 2013 in Austin, Texas. ARTIST & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Jennifer Chenoweth BOARD MEMBERS: Hart Blanton, Larry Vanston, Emily Pratte, Stephen Caffey, Ricardo Guerrero, Cile Montgomery, Carlotta Vann.

photo: Jennifer Ramos

photo: Jennifer Chenoweth

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XYZ Atlas Congress Catalog  

In Spring 2017, XYZ Atlas: Congress Avenue was commissioned by the Downtown Austin Alliance as a Heart of the Community project supported by...