polis: a collective blog about cities worldwide

On View: Project Cabrini Green

by Vivien Park

The last building of the infamous Cabrini Green complex is set to be demolished this coming Wednesday. Starting tomorrow, between 7pm to 1am, all 134 units of the 1230 N. Burling building will be lit up with blinking LED lights timed to the beats of slam poetry written by community youths and SAIC students. The project is conceived and developed by artist Jan Tichy and his partner Efrat Appel, a social worker. Together they held workshops that generated the 134 pieces of poetry that were translated into lights. These poetry gave a forum for youth of the community to express themselves on their experience with the issues surrounding the projects itself and how the eviction was being handled. As the 4-week demolition progressed, each light will be erased together with the rest of the building.

Audio of the poetry performances, live web feed of the public art can be views on the project's website. Additional live footage and printed text can be viewed at the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Credits: Image of 1230 N. Burling St. from cabrinigreen.com.