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Bridge On The 606 Will Radiate With Light From Celebrated Luftwerk Duo

By Stephen Gossett in News on Oct 10, 2016 9:22PM

'Turning Sky' rendering / The Trust for Public Land, Luftwerk

The 606 bike-and-walk trail has been massively popular since it opened last year, but investors are still looking to add more public-art elements. In a perfect “your peanut butter is in my chocolate” dovetail, Chicago-based light-and-media artist duo Luftwerk has signed on to help: The pair will create a major light installation that will illuminate the bridge along its cables, with the light display designed to echo to shifts in weather. (See video rendering below.)

Luftwerk has a long history of literally lighting up public and communal spaces with their brilliant visual under- and overlays. Solarise, the mesmeric greenhouse installation that ran for a year at the Garfield Park Conservatory, was the most recent. You might also recall the duo’s Luminous Field, which bedazzled the Bean in 2012.

For the 606 project, called Turning Sky, Luftwerk duo Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero will feature “dynamic LED lighting” that will create “a visualization of current weather data,” including temperature and humidity levels. Take that Damen Ave. bridge and your fancy red paint!

Right now, the installation is still in the fundraising stages. The Trust for Public Land, which has co-managed several aspects of The 606 with the city, including arts integration, seeks to collect $25,000 by December 31st in order to keep apace with the organization’s arts-support goal. Donations can be made here.

It’s not clear how much the Turning Sky installation itself is expected to cost. Chicagoist has reached out to TFPL and will update this post accordingly

Caroline O'Boyle, director of programs for The 606, told the Tribune that the plan is to install Turning Sky by mid-December and keep it in place for five years.

TurningSky_MAC from The 606 on Vimeo.