As a 22-year resident of Morris Avenue, Kinetic has not only seen the revitalization of downtown Birmingham, but has also made significant contributions to the cultural vibrancy of the area. Can you tell us about some of the projects you’ve worked on around the Kinetic office?
Jay Brandrup, Principal, Kinetic Communications: Art stimulates creative thinking, and we are fortunate here at Kinetic to be surrounded by art, both within our walls and on Morris Avenue outside our walls. If you haven’t visited Morris Avenue recently, there are three recent public mural projects on our block—the Before I Die Wall, the Rainbow Wall, and a three-story robot and monkey mural by John Lytle Wilson. The art that surrounds us trickles into our daily work here at Kinetic – for both our right-brain and our left-brain team members. We’re so lucky to have a front row seat to see people enjoying these works of creativity and it just gives us more energy for our own creative work and clients.
As a tech company, art and design play a huge role in your business. What are some of the ways you’ve seen technology influence art?
JB: It’s fascinating to witness the evolution of art generated by AI (artificial intelligence). Just last year, Christie’s became the first auction house to offer a work of art created by an algorithm with Portrait of Edmond Belamy, which sold for over $400,000. Technology can also drastically enhance a viewers experience of more traditional art. This summer, I was blown away by a digital exhibition in the Atelier des Lumières (atelier-lumieres.com), in which visitors are totally immersed in the paintings of Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890). Housed in a converted former iron foundry in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, the show uses 140 laser video projectors paired with an amazing sound system. It was stunning to see how technology was used to capture his work in a way that static art cannot. It’s hard to describe, but the juxtaposition of old and new was one of the neatest things my eyes have ever seen—I’ve been telling everybody about it.
Kinetic has been a steadfast supporter of the Birmingham community across the board, but it seems you have a special place in your heart for supporting the arts. Why do you think it’s worthwhile to support the arts in this day and age?
JB: Art is a fundamental part of the human experience. I’m reading Sapiens right now—to date, no other creatures have evolved to create art. It connects us to communities—and especially with people who aren’t like you, hopefully leading to positive change. You should see some of the interactions at the Before I Die Wall here on Morris. I’ve seen people laughing and crying together. Art also inspires children’s minds. During the Rainbow Wall community collaboration, we had multiple generations all working together on the mural alongside people of all colors and disabilities. A fun weekend for all.
Kinetic works with the Museum on a variety of projects—from our main site redesign and the smartguide to customized digital interactive tools for our galleries or rotating exhibitions. What do you enjoy most about your partnership with the Museum?
JB: We’re really excited about our partnership. Frankly, we’ve always hoped to work more with the Museum and, although we’ve done a few projects here and there over the years, we’ve never been able to really dig in until recently. It’s truly been our honor and pleasure to work on the new website, the Instagram-fed kiosks, the interactive annual report, updated volunteer and docent resources, the Barbie and Ways of Seeing: Portraits exhibitions, and some new projects to be unveiled soon. The Museum team is just fantastic to work with, as well.
What’s next for Kinetic?
JB: As an innovative team in the ever-changing website design, development, and marketing industry, Kinetic will continue to push ahead of the technology curve so that everyone can succeed in a changing economy. We’re booked solid with a dream team of colleagues and clients who understand the importance of collaboration in our projects. Every day is different, and we’re so lucky to be able to say that.