Powercall: A mobile, micro energy commons | marksearch
Wednesday, March 4th - Sunday, March 29th
Opening Reception: Friday, March 6th, 6-9 pm

This March, Interface Gallery presents, Power Call - a nomadic, interactive energy commons, designed by marksearch (Sue Mark + Bruce Douglas). Using low-tech systems, Power Call harnesses, stores and dispenses energy for recharging a variety of cell phones. Anyone can contribute to the energy commons by spending a few minutes pumping the machine, creating a charge for yourself or a future person in need. The amount of energy generated will be relatively small, enough to make a meaningful last phone call or text message. In exchange for participation, we ask that you share your story on a rotating public message board.

Who would you call if you had only this one last call? What would you say?

Power Call relies on good will to generate energy while simultaneously diffusing the anonymity of people in public spaces. In order for the energy commons to function, passers-by engage in an unusual and collaborative experience.

This project creatively brings together contemporary issues around hand held technology and social spaces, environmental concerns about a need for alternative energy sources, and anxiety over natural disasters and a potential state of emergency, where figuring out ways to work together to share resources will be necessary.

Power Call will be stationed at Interface Gallery from March 6 – March 29 and will make several nomadic rounds in the Temescal neighborhood throughout the month:

Tuesday, 3/10, 11am – 1pm: Telegraph Avenue @ 49th Street, near north and southbound bus stops
Wednesday, 3/18, 4 -6pm: MacArthur BART Station Plaza
Sunday, 3/22, 11am – 1pm: Temescal Alley environs
Tuesday, 3/24, 1 – 3pm: Temescal Library environs

A limited edition letter-press message card, printed by Carissa Potter Carlson and supported by Interface Gallery, will also be released in conjunction with the show.


As conversation artists, marksearch (Sue Mark + Bruce Douglas) crafts provocative platforms exploring social relationships. Whether they're pushing a nomadic park work-cart or towing a traveling billboard on their tandem bike, they design open opportunities for people to share their stories. Marksearch situates its cross-disciplinary work along the evolving continuum of social practice art by creating structures for improvisational community collaboration. By developing human-powered vehicles from reused materials, mobile signage, unconventional surveys, and official logos, their on-the-street performances offer an innovative opportunity for people to create a lasting neighborhood narrative that becomes a provocative part of their community.


This project is supported by funding from Southern Exposure's Alternative Exposure Grant (www.soex.org)