Speak in Light Over the Ben Franklin Parkway

Open Air, the brainchild of Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, is the largest and brightest of his light installations to date, and will be featured in Center City, over the Ben Franklin Parkway.  Meant to inspire a sense of global connection and personal participation, it will display every night between 8pm and 11pm, from September 20th to October 14th.  Watch in amazement as huge light formations, visible from 10 miles away, illuminate and dance across the night sky.


But the coolest part of all…

These light formations, that contain 24 powerful searchlights, react to voice messages sent by people.  Just use the free mobile app created for the project (found on iTunes), the project’s website, or while you’re there at the show.   Everyone is encouraged to participate by recording and submitting messages up to 30 seconds long.  The messages can be anything from poems, songs, dedications- even marriage proposals.  As the messages are played back and heard through the mobile app, website, and public speakers (located at 24th Street and the Parkway), the lights react to the recordings.

But remember, messages sent live are given top priority, so if you submit through the website, know that the message is archived and voted on by visitors to the site, adding a delay to your play back.  If highly rated, the message will be played back by the lights, and a personal webpage is created that features your message and the images of light your voice created.


Hear the “Voices of Philly”

Voices from important figures from Philly, both past and present, will be played at different times throughout the project.  Meant to reflect the tradition of democracy and freedom of speech, it also notes just how important these people are to Philadelphia’s history.


Viewing the Lights

There will be a Project Information Center at Eakins Oval, located at 24th Street and the Parkway, which will give full information about the show.  Note that there will be many viewing areas spread out along the parkway, and the lights will react to points facing the participants who send live messages from the Parkway during the show.

On clear nights, the lights can be seen up to 10 miles away.  On rainy nights, the lights will oddly enough appear bright, but will not be seen as far away.


Want More Information?

For more information about Open Air, the artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, technical specifications of the project, environmental considerations, or how to submit and listen to recorded messages, click HERE.



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