Tuesday, May 8, 2012

How Awesome!

The newly renamed Association for Public Art (aPA) -formerly the Fairmount Park Art Association- has commissioned internationally acclaimed new media artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer for what looks to be a pretty Awesome new public art project titled “Open Air”
Set to light up the skies of Philadelphia in September of 2012, “Open Air” will be the world premiere of an interactive public art project created specifically for Philadelphia, the first project of the aPA under its new name.
Using a free custom-made app, participants will use their voices and GPS positions to activate 24 powerful robotic searchlights placed along a half-mile section of the Parkway creating enormous three-dimensional light formations in the night sky.
The project is going to debut on September 20 during the 2012 Philadelphia Live Arts Festival & Philly Fringe and run through October 14, the close of Design Philadelphia.
The visual effect is going to be stunning but what’s even cooler is the interactive element of this display. The installation will invite viewer participation through their voices and GPS positioning using a custom iPhone app developed for “Open Air.”
A computer program will automatically analyze the “Open Air” app users’ GPS positions and voices for frequency, intonation and volume, and will then convert these characteristics into unique searchlight formations in the sky over the Parkway. The lights will react, both in brightness and position, to each participant’s voice and words as they are being spoken.
While the stunning display will be visible up to 10 miles away from the Parkway, I hope to be one of the tens of thousands who will get to experience it live.  If you’ve been planning a trip to Philadelphia or, just need an excuse to come, mark your calendars and don’t miss “Open Air”!
Where: Benjamin Franklin Parkway; Project Headquarters – 24th Street and the Parkway
When: September 20-October 14, nightly 8-11 p.m.
More info: http://www.associationforpublicart.org/

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