What Is Ardent Heavy Industries?
Ardent Heavy Industries is a Bay Area industrial arts collective merging aesthetics and engineering. We have been installing large-scale interactive art worldwide since 2004. Our work is a collaboration of artists, engineers, programmers, designers, scientists, and fabricators.
We build beautiful things with light, sound, metal, and code. Our members include experts in electronics and software control systems, audio engineering, compressed gas and process controls, and metal fabrication. We value non-hierarchical artistic collaboration and teaching. We work out of American Steel Studios, a wonderful community of artists in West Oakland, California.
Our best-known works are Syzygryd (a 2.5 ton collaborative musical instrument and sculptural visualizer), the Ardent Mobile Cloud Platform (a glowing pixelated cloud that will rain on your parade), and Straightedge (a 2.6 mile long ruler that lets you see the curvature of the Earth). Our sister organization, Interpretive Arson, is responsible for 2πr (a blisteringly interactive large-scale fire toy), and Dance Dance Immolation (holder of the Guinness World Record for "World's Hottest Videogame", retired in 2013).
Ardent started life as Interpretive Arson, a small group of friends (Morley, Matt, Jonathan and Ian) who rented a container in a West Oakland warehouse, having outgrown the workshop space in their residences. In November 2004 they came up with the idea for Dance Dance Immolation, and Interpretive Arson was born.
Over the years, Interpretive Arson grew in size and scope. With the creation of Syzygryd in 2010 came a shift away from fire art, and Ardent Heavy Industries was created to reflect our expanding interest in other media. Our focus has turned more toward LED art in recent years, but Interpretive Arson still pops up occasionally to run 2πr.
More than a decade after its beginnings, Ardent Heavy Industries is many things: it's a network of over 200 people with a remarkably diverse skillset. It's a company that maintains well-appointed studio space for designing and fabricating artworks. And most importantly, it's a community of people who support one another in realizing their dreams.
Ardent Heavy Industries: Engineering solutions for problems that don’t exist.