Imagine walking across the Michigan Ave Bridge in downtown Chicago  at night, you take in perhaps the greatest city view in the world.  You notice that not just the buildings are lit for your enjoyment but the river as well. Before you a sea of lights twinkle from below the surface of the water. A boat slowly approaches, its hull licked by glowing tendrils of light from below, its wake an etherial ripple of space. The vessel almost seems to hang two worlds, pushing ahead in a sea of glimmering light. As you watch this unearthly scene from above you begin to recognize patterns. You may or may not remember these patterns, these celestial forms, but deep down you know them well. There l is an ancient familiarity to the lights you see. Indeed every person of every generation save this one and the last few knew these lights well as they guided our ships and lit our way. Stirring our imaginations, they afforded a stage of infinite proportion for our dreams to visit and and stories to take form.  Indeed, this is the realm of the gods as told in the ancient stories and myths of our ancestors.  The lights you see below are beacons in the night bridging this world and the next. Glimmering through the depths below,  you see the stars.

Bridges is an urban scale project that seeks to bring the wonder of the night sky back to the people of Chicago. I intend to install nearly a thousand special high powered lights that would be installed into the bed of the Chicago River between the Michigan Ave Bridge to the State Street Bridge. These lights would be programmed to actively reflect the actual celestial bodies as they would appear above if one could see beyond the glow Chicago’s lights. The site I chose is in the heart of the city, and is the most scenic part of the a city that has many, this is precisely why I chose it. Here the people of Chicago and tourists alike come to marvel the world class architecture looming above the Chicago River crisscrossed by the many storied bridges of this town. And below these, I would place the stars. I do not think to compete with the sites existing beauty but rather provide a focal point for contemplation and meditation that speaks to a universe beyond.

Contemplating this project I felt the river to be a fitting medium for this work. A river functions in many ways both practical as well as spiritual. The water we draw from them give life to us as they nourish the lands they cross. They are also natural barriers impeding our travel. We build bridges so as to cross them and in doing so join two places that were once separate. It is my intention that this work would also function as a bridge, allowing people to journey into the realm that is often forgotten in our modern, bustling age. I propose a bridge not of steel and brick, but one of light and space, not for the foot but for the soul.

A Public Art Proposal for the City of Chicago