Project Cabrini Green

Location:  Chicago, IL
Project Description: 

Project Cabrini Green is a public art installation addressing the demolition of the last high-rise of the Cabrini-Green housing development. The Project, led by the artist Jan Tichy and developed together with Efrat Appel, was created in collaboration with youth from Chicago, most of them attending educational programs in the Cabrini-Green area and with students from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

On March 28th, two days before the beginning of the demolition, 134 self-contained, battery-powered LED modules were placed inside 134 of the building's vacated apartments. The lights blinked every day from 7pm to 1am CDT, for the four week duration of the demolition, and were gradually erased with the building. Each blinking light had a unique pattern. These patterns were a visual translation of poems written and recorded by the youth who attended workshops developed and instructed by Tichy, Appel, and students from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  

The project aims to highlight the significant moment of the demolition, while giving voice to young people, enabling them to reflect on social issues related to their communities. The idea to collaborate with youth derived from the wish to empower them through a creative experience.
As a component of Project Cabrini Green, live-feed video footage from the site was projected at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, accompanied by a voice/light-activated model of the high-rise, a printed publication of the poems and an access to the audio and visual content of this web site.