Lonely Planet Writer

The largest digital art projection in the world is coming to Chicago

If you’re around Chicago from the end of September, you may catch sight of the largest digital art projection in the world. Featuring work by four contemporary artists, a curated series of digital artworks will be projected across 2.5 acres of theMART’s during the inaugural programme of Art on theMART.

A preview of what Art on theMART light installations will look like in Chicago. Image: Art on theMART

Following the launch event on 29 September, the projections will be displayed for up to two hours a night on theMart, formerly known as the Merchandise Mart, from Wednesday to Sunday for ten months of the year (March to December). The projections will be visible to the public, and it marks the first time a projection of its size and scope will be completely dedicated to digital art with no branding, sponsorship credits or messaging.

Pioneering new media artist, Diana Thater, will present a programme of digital artworks, entitled True Life Adventures, which explores the plight of animals living in imminent danger of poaching in Kenya. International artist Zheng Chongbin’s programme, Chimeric Landscape, centres his artistic practice around the pre-modern Daoist concept that the natural, inorganic world of energy and matter is living and always changing.

The largest digital art projection in the word is coming to Chicago. Image: Art on theMART

Jason Salavon’s Homage in Between (Chicago Art, 20th Century) speaks to Chicago’s grand art and design histories as fluid streams of smaller events. Image archives will be used to create poetic complexes of flowing visual history for this installation. Jan Tichy’s Artes in Horto – Seven Gardens for Chicago – considers the work of seven local, historically-consecutive artists who considered nature to be a significant influence on their practice. The natural elements from their artworks, animated and mapped on theMART’s facade, will grow into projected gardens of local art.

Large-scale projections will stretch across 2.5 acres of theMART’s Chicago River–facing exterior. Image: Art on theMART

Obscura Digital has partnered with theMart owner Vornado Realty Trust and architecture firm Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, Inc. to design and implement the projection system. With 34 projectors, totalling almost one million lumens projected on the building façade, this projection system will feature a new software-driven platform that allows theMART to curate an ongoing exhibition of imagery, keeping the illuminations fresh and engaging. For further information, see here.