Swarm StreetIndianapolis, IN
Swarm Street, a public art project by Acconci Studio, imaginatively connects key assets on the Indianapolis Cultural Trail
Swarm Street by Acconci Studio is an ambitious place-making project that will more fully connect the Fountain Square Cultural District to the rest of downtown Indianapolis along the Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene & Marilyn Glick. The project will achieve this goal by turning a previously dark garage space that straddles Virginia Avenue—the artery that most directly connects this urban neighborhood to the downtown core—into an interactive light environment that is activated by users of this new pedestrian and bike pathway.
The Cultural Trail is a unique eight-mile urban bicycle and pedestrian path that will connect five cultural districts and deliver users to every major art, cultural, heritage, sports, and entertainment venue in downtown Indianapolis. One of the unique aspects of the Cultural Trail is its emphasis on art and design and the role of creative expression in the future of the city. CICF has led the $62.5 million public-private fundraising effort. Last year the Trail received a TIGER Grant from the Federal Department of Transportation totaling $20.5 million to help fund the final four miles of trail construction, which includes high-end construction materials and landscaping designed by Rundell Ernstberger Associates. Visit www.IndyCulturalTrail.org to learn more.
Swarm Street is an interactive light environment that Vito Acconci compares to swarms of fireflies. To create this affect there are two major design elements. First, purple ambient light floods the space and evens out light levels through the area surrounding the trail. This provides a color field that is pierced by the second design element—thousands of small white LED lights that are connected to motion sensors that breathe on and surround pedestrians as they move into the previously dark and forbidding garage along the trail. Through this installation, the space will become an interactive and welcoming destination. It will re-connect historic neighborhoods to downtown and re-connect people to each other.
Based in New York City, Vito Acconci is one of the most important figures in art and architecture working today. From his days as a poet in the mid-1960s to his groundbreaking performance works of the 1970s, and finally to the founding of Acconci Studio in 1988 to help realize architecture and public-space projects, Acconci has pushed from one discipline to the next while always thinking about language and the boundaries of the body. Seminal public projects include Mur Island, 2003, Graz, Austria where the studio designed a floating island that houses a theatre, cafe and playground. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Acconci-Studio/201224576560749.