Chicago, IL (2010) – Artist Jan Tichy and Efrat Appel turned the demolition of the last Cabrini-Green high-rise last March into a public art project. For Project Cabrini Green, the artists, together with students from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, held workshops in which they helped youth from the Cabrini-Green area to write and record poems. The artists then translated 134 of the poems into visual patterns of blinking lights. Each poem-pattern LED light was then put in one of the empty 134 apartments of the high rise. As the building was demolished over the next four weeks, the biinking lights were gradually erased with the building. A live-feed video of the project was shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and accompanied by a voice/light activated model of the high-rise and a printed publication of the poems, which can now be heard here.
The project aimed to highlight the significance of the moment of the demolition, while enabling young people to reflect on the social issues in their communities and empower them through creative experience.