Jason Salavon Art on theMart Along the Chicago River

Urbanland Jan 13, 2019

On the night of September 29, 2018, there were 32,000 people assembled along the Chicago River to watch abstract shapes morph and change colors, eyeballs float, and a 20-story-tall giraffe chew cud—all projected onto the surface of Chicago’s Merchandise Mart. This was the debut of Art on theMART, a permanent projection system that allows video art to animate the historic building’s entire 2.5-acre (1 ha) river-facing facade. Four artists—Diana Thater, Zheng Chongbin, Jason Salavon, and Jan Tichy—each created a video piece for the inaugural exhibition. Under an agreement with the city of Chicago, projections will take place Wednesday through Sunday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., 10 months a year, for 30 years.

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