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ACTIVATE Creates a ‘Sense of Place from Space’

A crowd gathered on a beautiful Thursday evening for another art and placemaking extravaganza in an alley tucked away by the Sullivan Center on Monroe Street. Under the theme TunnelVision, curated by Canvas, ACTIVATE transformed this historic space into a pixelated abyss, revitalizing the murals from past ACTIVATE events with digital media.


The muse, EVO, opened a portal for over 4,500 people who experimented with interactive multi-sensory artistry. Site-specific architectural projection mapping featured the work of 10 up-and-coming Chicago visualists and muralists. Coupled with David Wallace Haskins’ volumetric light sculpture, the crowd enjoyed a futuristic, Instagram-perfect alternate universe imbued with sparkle and élan.


Bix X Bit and DreamBait took on the stage with psychedelic garage rock and electric music, complete with groovy visuals. Game lovers geeked out with art games and virtual reality curated by Digital Arts Demo Space while others captured memorable moments with the analog CRT video wall and Glitch Photo Booth. Selected films from the contributors of the Twisted Oyster Film Festival were also on display.


“I am amazed at how the quality of the ACTIVATE experience is enhanced with each event,” says Chicago Loop Alliance President and CEO Michael E. Edwards.  “The integration of technologyvideo game, AR, projection lightingwas an impressive backdrop to an evening filled with memorable moments.  Creating a sense of place from space is all about the memories made there.”


Chicago Loop Alliance thanks the presenting sponsor School of the Art Institute of Chicago and all title sponsors for their continued support. We also thank Canvas for the artistic installations, digital engagements and unexpected adventures, and the participants for supporting ACTIVATE.


The next ACTIVATE takes place on Thursday, August 16, from 5 – 10 p.m. Stay tuned for more details, and RSVP in advance for a free drink ticket.


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