1. April 2011 11:11
The demolition of the last high-rise building at the notorious Cabrini-Green housing projects (1230 N. Burling) on the city’s near-north side, which began earlier this week, continues with a poetic public light art installation titled Project Cabrini Green.
The installation, conceived by artist/educator Jan Tichy, is a community-based project involving 134 LED lights (one for each apartment in the building) that flicker and are visible in the evenings. Throughout the four-week demolition period, the lights will eventually be destroyed along the famous building that houses them.
This project has been in the works for months. Brainstorming and collaborating with 20 students from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), Tichy held workshops with a number of different local youth programs including Cabrini Connections, Marwen, After School Matters Creative Writing Program at Gallery 37, and ThaBrigade Stamps – Cabrini Green Marching Band.
For the past few months, the groups discussed public and light art, concepts of home, community and demolition; which resulted in an SAIC-developed computer program that translated sound to a system of light patterns used to express some of those ideas. With the lights now in place in the vacant apartments, viewers can watch the illuminated spaces as the light bounces and flickers between floors and units.
The Museum of Contemporary Art is partnering with the project and will be projecting live-feed footage from the site, at street-level on the corner of Pearson and Mies Van der Rohe, so the video will be visible at night. A voice/light-activated model of the building will also accompany the installation with text and audio from the students.
For more information on this project and to see live footage of the site, visit: www.projectcabrinigreen.org.