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ACTIVATE returns with 'Network: Pulsing with Power'

Posted  7 years ago


CHICAGO—Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA) presents the latest ACTIVATE event, Network: Pulsing with Power on Thursday, August 24 from 5-10 p.m. at Couch Place Alley (170 N State St, enter between Lake and Randolph). Guests who RSVP in advance at loopchicago.com/activate will receive a complimentary drink ticket for beer, wine, or a cocktail at the event.

The 2017 ACTIVATE series invites the public to explore the pulse of daily life that the alley embodies. Art and programming will focus on a different aspect of alley life for each event. Network: Pulsing with Power explores the alley as the pathway for electrical and communication lines – the place where the abstract grid becomes visible and personal, connecting individual buildings with vast global networks.

Curator Ursula Andreeff has created an array of installations and activities that features artists, musicians, and educators who utilize light as an integral part of their work. Network: Pulsing with Power activities include:

  • Take a virtual reality bike tour through an electrical flower garden, FlowerSpace, where the flowers pulsate in time to your pedaling, created by Eric Wolinsky.
  • Explore the hidden world of cells by going on a Microsafari, an interactive microscopy demo by citizen-science lab Analytics Lounge.
  • Tent (Electri)City transports you to Lino Fernandez’s universe of kinetic paintings, whose surfaces change before your eyes with each flickering of a colored bulb.
  • Unveiling of the mural Bringing the Power to the People by artist Sam Kirk, whose work celebrates people and inspires pride and recognition for underrepresented communities.
  • Disassociation Summers by Ursula Andreeff invites you to try on clothing designs and paint your body in a live fashion photoshoot.
  • Experience musical performances from electronic-pop performance artist Dorian Electra, Latin folk fusion ensemble Son Monarcas, and DJ Cid Ikarus

The Portal, a monumental structure overlaid with an illuminated scene of alley activities returns to amplify the ACTIVATE experience. By their very nature, alleys are voids – the space between buildings. The Portal provides a sense of arrival and puts the alleyway in play with the streetscape. Designed by PORT Urbanism, the structure will display a photo montage comprised of contemporary and historic images to support each theme, inspiring passersby to give an alley a second glance and wonder about its history.

The remaining 2017 ACTIVATE event on September 28 will explore the alley a hideaway where we can cavort and misbehave away from the eyes of the street. Date is subject to change. A holiday ACTIVATE will also be announced at a later date. Specific location and event details will be posted two weeks prior at loopchicago.com/activate.

Over the past three seasons, ACTIVATE has generated nearly $1.7 million in estimated economic impact to Loop businesses, with nearly $1 million in 2016 alone. More than 47,000 people have attended ACTIVATE over the course of the series. “Linger Longer” is a program of exclusive offers and promotions to drive traffic to CLA business members before and after each event.

ACTIVATE sponsors include: School of the Art Institute of Chicago as presenting sponsor; PNC Bank, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Little Things, and CH Distillery as title sponsors; Vitacoco and RX Bar as event sponsors; and TimeOut Chicago as media sponsor.

Chicago Loop Alliance

Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA), the sole service provider for Special Service Area 1-2015, creates, manages, and promotes high-performing urban experiences, attracting people and investment to the Loop. For more information, please visit www.LoopChicago.com.


ACTIVATE is a series of pop-up arts programs that encourage visitors to see the Loop anew. ACTIVATE transforms alleys and other urban locations into creative exhibition spaces that bring artists and the public together for an evening of exploration, interaction, and celebration of the arts. Chicago Loop Alliance launched the initiative in 2014.

Curator Ursula Andreeff

Ursula Andreeff received her Bachelors of Fine Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has been producing community arts events for almost a decade. As an artist, educator, and event producer she has worked to build community through art through her work with the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston, Mount Royal Middle School in Baltimore, the Zhou B Art Center in Chicago, the Harold Washington Library Maker Lab, and the Archer Beach Haus gallery and music venue in Chicagoʼs Bridgeport neighborhood. She has also worked on experiential marketing campaigns for companies such as RedBull and Adidas. Inspiration for the Network: Pulsing with Power event comes from her fascination with light and its ability to alter space and perception. She designed the event to be as interactive and educational as possible, seeing audience members’ interaction with light reactive materials as a physical representation of the experience they are sharing.

PORT Urbanism

PORT is a leading-edge design consultancy whose work focuses on the analysis, visioning, design, and implementation of new forms of collective space and the public realm, ranging in scale from plazas, parks, and public waterfronts to institutional framework plans and regional planning strategies. The practice synthesizes professional expertise in urban design, landscape architecture, architecture, ecology, and urban planning in order to provide the hybrid model of design services necessary to negotiate today’s complex public realm challenges.


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