Filmmaker Eric Hines does a phenomenal job of making us look good here in the windy city with his most recent timelapse, Cityscape Chicago. The clip consists of over 30,000 still photographs taken between July and October of this year primarily around the bustling downtown areas including the financial district, Navy pier, Wacker drive and the lakefront.
Chicago photographer Paul Octavious has just released a number of new photos as part of his Lean With It series, where he captures people bending (I suspect falling) in parallel with precariously angled trees. It’s almost more amazing that he’s able to find these trees in the first place, let alone timing such great shots. See much more on his website.
I was walking in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood a few weekends ago when I happened upon an enormous stack of Monopoly ‘Chance’ cards made from plywood and bolted to the sidewalk announcing a marriage proposal at a nearby church. It was awesome. Immediately I started wondering if it was a genuine proposal? Was it a joke? Or could it be… ART?! Chicago has a fair amount street art if you know where to look, but it’s mostly spray painted stencils and paste-ups, and it’s extremely rare to see something three dimensional or sculptural.
As it turns out I wasn’t the first blogger to make the discovery. Nate Berg from the Atlantic found several sets of cards and actually went to the Armitage Baptist Church nearby to ask if they knew anything (they didn’t). He did figure out that the Monopoly pieces originally appeared back in April and several people on Reddit had a field day trying to piece the puzzle together. Everyone realized there were even more installations around the city, and not only that, the messages on the Chance and Community Chest cards were occasionally being painted over and replaced with other humorous and obscure messages.
After a few desperate tweets and some emailing, I finally got in touch with the artist (or artists!) known as Bored. The person (or group) chooses to remain anonymous but expressed via email their dissatisfaction at the lack of quality street art around Chicago. Saying specifically that “the goal of this entire project has been to present something different than a stencil painted on the ground or a poster pasted to a wall. Something 3-dimensional that can be picked up, beaten down, kicked, yanked, grabbed, and broken. And if someone ever put forth the effort to remove it, like a weed it will always grow back. And if left alone it will evolve into something different.”
While there are a number of good street artists in Chicago, this is definitely a welcome change of pace. I’m really excited to see this project evolve and hope they have more ideas brewing.
Artist Candy Chang has teamed up with the Chicago Urban Art Society and youth-run art gallery Good News Only to bring her interactive public art project Before I Die (previously) to various Chicago neighborhoods. Passersby are confronted with a spray painted canvas bearing the repeated prompt “Before I die…” and can use provided chalk to complete the sentence, creating a public space for spontaneously shared dreams, hopes, fears and aspirations. The piece was installed yesterday in Edgewater and will be making stops in Pilsen, Wicker Park, Chinatown and elsewhere. You can follow the works progress at Before I Die Chi, and if you have a site where the piece can be installed you should get in touch.
Cloud Gate, or affectionately The Bean, by Anish Kapoor is probably my favorite public art installation in Chicago. No matter how many times you visit the experience is always different depending on the time of day, the weather, who you’re with, and what’s happening in the general vicinity of the giant mirrored surface. The Bean is in a perpetual state of visual flux.
For the next 10 days Chicago creative ensemble LuftWerk, the creative vision of Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero, have capitalized on the sculpture’s reflective properties by turning it into a canvas for a choreographed light show titled Luminous Field. The duo are using an array of ten projectors to create the experience, setting everything to music composed by Owen Clayton Condon of Third Coast Percussion. This is the first site-specific work involving Cloud Gate since its construction in 2004. Luminous Field opens tonight at 6pm and runs through February 20th.
A special thank you to Ken Ilio and Pete Tsai for providing their photography for this post, check out their Flickr pages for more great photos.
For his latest exhibition at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, German artist Wolfgang Laib poured over 30,000 piles of rice and seven piles of pollen to create one of his largest installations ever entitled Unlimited Ocean. Laib worked with several SAIC alumni during a ten day residency in October to pour each small mound resulting in an enormous grid that covers much of the expansive Sullivan North Gallery in downtown Chicago. The work will be on display to the public through December 23, 2011. Photographs by James Prinz courtesy SAIC.