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Navy Pier Is Getting A Bunch Of Light-Up, 'Musical' Seesaws

By Stephen Gossett in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 1, 2017 9:00PM

Move over, light-up 606 bridge. Some new interactive, LED public art is coming to town. Fifteen "musical," illuminated seesaws are coming soon to Navy Pier.

Part public art, part light-up spectacle and part playground, the project, dubbed Impulse, brings more than a dozen large-scale seesaws—with motion-activated LED light and sound components—to the pier for your and your tourist friends' amusement. How does it work? Fields of light and sound respond and shift along the boards based on the angle, repetition and rhythm of movement.

Impulse is very much in keeping with Chicago’s culturally rich and distinguished art scene, while also in alignment with Navy Pier’s mission of offering unparalleled experiences that inspire discovery and wonder,” said Michelle T. Boone, Chief Program and Civic Engagement Officer of Navy Pier, in a press release. “We invite guests of all ages and backgrounds to come experience the Pier’s ongoing programmatic evolution this spring, starting with this truly unique and artistic spin on a classic playground activity.”

The seesaws are the handiwork of a few design groups and producers: Toronto-based Lateral Office, Montreal-based CS Design, and Quartier des Spectacles. Impulse has appeared in handful of international cities—including Brussels, London and Montreal—but the Chicago stop will be only its second appearance in the States.

They teeter brightly at Navy Pier from March 10 through May 21.

You can check out a promo and making-of video below. Even if you're French is a little rusty, the visuals are still pretty cool.