Chicago’s elevated train tracks, while vital in keeping the city moving, aren’t exactly pleasant to look at. And the underside of the L is basically an eyesore.
But a new Kickstarter campaign has launched to totally transform the Wabash stretch of the L by installing 5,000 programmable LED light tubes that would serve as a public art exhibit. Dubbed the Wabash Lights, designers Jack C. Newell and Seth Unger are seeking to raise $55,000 to Beta Test the project by installing a small section of lights on the Wabash Ave. tracks. The campaign says it has already received approval for the test from the CTA, Chicago Department of Transportation, and City Government.
After the Beta Test, the team plans to launch a $5 million capital fundraising campaign from private, foundation, and corporate donors.
“This proposed work of public art will incorporate over 5,000 programmable LED light tubes to transform an iconic piece of Chicago infrastructure into a canvas for a dynamic, interactive experience, serving as a catalyst for a re-energized Wabash Avenue,” the Kickstarter reads.
The key to the art installation is that it’s interactive. Using a website or app, people will be able to program each light tube down to every 1.2 inches, essentially transforming the L tracks into a public art canvas.
“Anyone with access to a computer or smart phone will be able to design how The Wabash Lights illuminate, whether they are a student, a senior citizen, or a renowned artist – this work of art will be the first to be created and continually re-designed by the public,” the Kickstarter says.
The Kickstarter is looking to hit its goal by July 26, and it has already raised more than $4,000 in less than two days.
Image via Kickstarter