Midtown Viaducts Public Art + Light Project
winners selected

Midtown Viaducts Public Art + Light Project
winners selected

Midtown Detroit, Inc.

Upper left: r+d LAB, Resonance, 2015. Rendering. Upper right: bioLINIA, Reflector, 2015. Rendering. Bottom: New D Media Arts, LIGHT BENDER, 2015. Rendering.
July 23, 2015


Installations under construction this summer in Detroit’s TechTown district

Three artist teams from metropolitan Detroit and Ann Arbor were selected to develop public art and light projects for the undersides of three viaducts located in Midtown Detroit’s TechTown district. Each artist team has been awarded a 75000 USD budget to construct and install their projects this summer.

The Midtown Viaducts Public Art + Light Project (MIDVIA) is funded by the New Economy Initiative and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The project is one of the recommended interventions stemming from the TechTown District Plan which aims to improve safety, accessibility and placemaking efforts in the area. “From low-tech to interactive light experiences, the work of these artist teams exemplifies experimentation and new ideas, further positioning TechTown as an innovation district,” says Susan Mosey, President of Midtown Detroit, Inc., the organization administering MIDVIA.

The winners include:

Principals:  Becky Nix and Olek Zemplinski
Project: Reflector
Cass Avenue Viaduct
The Cass Avenue project, Reflector, will install over 7500 reflectors and other lighting on the walls. bioLINIA approached the project as a means to capture and reflect the light from those who offer it up to the viaduct. Reflector will provide a gateway, an in-between, and an interactive experience as one moves through the viaduct. 

r+d LAB 
Principals: Cezanne Charles and John Marshall of rootoftwo, LLC, and Karl Daubmann of daub, LLC
Project: Resonance
Second Avenue Viaduct
Resonance consists of an array of LED light boxes mounted on the walls and ceiling of the Second Avenue viaduct. These 22 light boxes amplify the banding of light and dark in the viaduct, intensifying the visual forced perspective. These units will be located between each archway, enhancing the experience of passing through the viaduct.

New D Media Arts
Principals:  Gabriel Hall and Daniel Land
Third Avenue Viaduct
The Third Avenue viaduct will become an animated lighting installation that reacts to the motion of vehicles and lights the way of all pedestrians who enter. Through mobile devices, users can explore interactive imagery and bend waves of colored light along the pedestrian paths.

Through a competitive process, applications to the original RFP were reviewed by an independent panel of local artists and arts and design professionals. Panelists selected the projects based on artistic excellence, credentials, prior work experience, and capacity to complete the project. The panelists included:

– Ashlee Arder, Cultural Strategist + Producer, Creative Many
– Nina Bianchi, Partner, The Work Department
– Annmarie Borucki, Special Projects Manager, Midtown Detroit, Inc.
– David Carleton, Partner & Executive Producer, Mindfield
– Michael Darga, Senior Project Manager, Giffels-Webster
– Amy Green Deines, Associate Dean, College of Architecture and Design & Director, Detroit Center of Design and Technology & Associate Professor, Lawrence Technological University 
– Maureen Devine, Art Curator, Cobo Center
– Matthew Eaton, Partner, Library Street Collective & Director / Curator, Red Bull House of Art 
– Tim Van Laar, Chair of the Fine Arts Department, College for Creative Studies
– Stephen Zacks, Executive Director, Flint Public Art Project

The original RFP called for proposals to be considered for the Cass and Second Avenue viaducts and was seed-funded by the New Economy Initiative. With funding from Knight Foundation, the Third Avenue Viaduct was added as an additional site in fall 2014. “Midtown Detroit, Inc. is proud to expand the scale of this project to include three viaducts, and to pioneer a process with partnering railroads and the City of Detroit for how public art and light projects will be considered for other viaducts in the future,” stated Mosey.

Midtown Viaducts partners include:  the New Economy Initiative, Knight Foundation, Midtown Detroit, Inc., the City of Detroit, Consolidated Rail Corporation, and CN Rail.

RSVP for Midtown Viaducts Public Art + Light Project winners selected
Midtown Detroit, Inc.
July 23, 2015

Thank you for your RSVP.

Midtown Detroit, Inc. will be in touch.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.