Philadelphia Open Air
Philadelphia Open Air
PHILADELPHIA – A new interactive artwork opening in Philadelphia will make light of your words, but it’s probably not what you think.
Montreal-based artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer is preparing to flip the switch on “Open Air,” an interactive work that will translate voice messages into moving beams of light over a tree-lined parkway named for Benjamin Franklin in the heart of Philadelphia’s cultural district.
Record your soapbox declarations, poems, gripes, wishes and shout-outs of up to 30 seconds on the “Open Air” iPhone app or online, then watch 24 robotic searchlights slowly sweep through the night sky in patterns and intensity determined by your vocal signature and GPS location.
The spectacle starts Thursday and runs through Oct. 14, from 8-11 p.m. each night.
In Fall 2012, internationally acclaimed new media artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s public art project “Open Air” will illuminate the Benjamin Franklin Parkway with enormous three-dimensional light formations in the night sky.
Every night from 8-11 p.m., participants can use their voices and GPS positions to activate 24 robotic searchlights placed along a half-mile section of the Parkway, all via a custom iPhone app developed for “Open Air.”
The Open Air app automatically analyzes the 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 react, both in brightness and position, to each participant’s voice and words as they are being spoken, creating a canopy of light over the city.
Tens of thousands of individuals are expected to participate live during the duration of “Open Air” and the brilliant light formations will be visible up to 10 miles away from the Parkway each evening.
A dedicated project headquarters, including app download and free mobile loan stations, will be located at Eakins Oval (24th Street and the Parkway).
By Michael Angelina
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