On the underside of Chicago’s Wabash Avenue elevated train tracks, the Wabash Lights project is aims to illuminate the city as the biggest piece of public art installation in Chicago’s history. Once its completed, the striking LED light show will be programmable by anyone with a phone through app or text.
“Using over 24,000 programmable light emitting diodes (LEDs) to transform an iconic piece of Chicago infrastructure and history, The Wabash Lights will create a publicly accessible canvas for a dynamic, interactive and creative experience that will in turn re-energize Wabash Avenue and redefine the Chicago Loop,” Wabash Lights says. “Once fully installed, The Wabash Lights will be programmable by anyone with a phone through app or text; the first work of public art to marry light, technology and community.”
The project launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to help fund the installation.
The Wabash Light project was initiated by filmmaker and commercial director Jack C. Newell as well as design, creative strategist and brand consultant Seth Unger. Last year, the project relied on the same crowdfunding website to raise USD $60,000 and install the Wabash Lights Beta Test.
Wabash Lights is not the first project in the US ,however, that uses light to re-energize a public space. Earlier this year, an electric mural was installed round Percy Street, South of 9th and Wharton Street in the state of Philadelphia, to change the once dark alley into a public piece of neon street art. The illuminating mural was part of the Passyunk Square Civic Association’s efforts to discourage unlawful activity in the street. The 9-by-4.5 meter wall was painted and around 60 meters of low energy LED neon lights were bent to frame the colored sections of the painted wall.