Open Air Philly on the Parkway

May 15, 2013 7:57:58 AM PDT
If you haven't caught the show of lights dancing nightly over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, time is quickly running out.

It's called Open Air and it's 24 of the world's most powerful searchlights positioned on both sides of the Parkway. It's powered by the voices of the people on the ground below. It's a nightly show that will last just one more week.

Philadelphia is the world premiere of Open Air, the work of artist Rafael Lozano Hemmer who's become known for his large interactive works of public art.

Penny Balkin Bach, Exec Dir, Assn for Public Art said, "The lights are actually controlled by people's voice recognition, that is the amplitude, the volume of their voices, as well as their GPS locations."

You can record an up to 30-second message using the free I phone app, 'Open air Philly.' Your recording goes into a queue and you get an email alert when it's your time to shine in the night sky.

"The response has been incredible. Even when it's raining, we find people coming out, they're sitting in their cars. It's kind of like here at the Eakins Oval like a drive in movie theatre," added Bach.

Open Air was commissioned by the Association for Public Art, the first public art organization in America, founded in 1872.

The group preserves outdoor sculptures, commissions new works and works to animate Philadelphia's public spaces.

Bach said, "When the parkway was designed, it was meant to be a parkway, a place for people to walk. When we're-through Open Air and our other projects, we want to turn the parkway back to the people so that we can have this place to promenade. "

Open Air runs from 8 to 11pm nightly through next Sunday, October 14th To add your voice to the conversation, go to Association for Public Art.


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