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Chicago Loop Alliance unveils details for July ACTIVATE event: 'TunnelVision'

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Posted  11 months ago

Press contact: Jessica Cabe | PR and Communications Manager, Chicago Loop Alliance jessica@chicagoloopalliance.com | 312-782-9160

CHICAGO—The second event of Chicago Loop Alliance’s 2018 ACTIVATE season, “(EVO)lution,” will take place from 5-10 p.m. on Thursday, July 12, in the Sullivan Center alley on Monroe between State and Wabash.

ACTIVATE series curators Canvas Chicago will transform the event site into a pixelated abyss, bringing Chicago’s underground digital media scene to the mainstage. With the muse, EVO, as their guide, guests will experiment with music, technology, visual art and interactive media at “ACTIVATE: TunnelVision.” The visionary spirit guiding this event aligns with the Sullivan Center, an architecturally significant part of Chicago’s post-fire innovation story.

Elements of “TunnelVision” include:

  • Site-specific architectural projection mapping featuring the work of 10 up-and-coming Chicago visualists and muralists
  • Curated art games and virtual reality lounge by the Digital Arts Demo Space
  • Two stages of audio visual performances curated by Bit x Bit and DreamBait
  • An analogue CRT video wall and Glitch Photo Booth
  • Volumetric light sculptures by David Wallace Haskins
  • Selected works from contributors to the Twisted Oyster Film Festival


ACTIVATE is a popular annual series of pop-up arts programs launched in 2014 by Chicago Loop Alliance that transforms alleys and other unexpected spaces into creative places for arts and entertainment. ACTIVATE brings people together for an evening of exploration, interaction and celebration in the public realm, inspiring guests to see the Loop anew.

Guests who RSVP in advance will receive a complimentary drink ticket for beer, wine or a cocktail at the event, with additional beverages available for purchase onsite. EVO’s story will continue on Aug. 16 and Sept. 13. Details will be announced at loopchicago.com/activate.

This is the fifth annual ACTIVATE season, and the first time CLA has partnered with the same curatorial group for all four events. Canvas Chicago, the collective known for productions like Voyager NYE and Sub Chroma, joined CLA in developing the season theme, “(EVO)lution.”

“(EVO)lution” refers to EVO, a fictional muse representing all of the artistic intentions in Chicago that lead to the continuous evolution of the city’s modern-day arts and culture. EVO is able to open portals to parallel universes, so each ACTIVATE event will see a location in the Loop transformed, with attendees transported to an alternate version of the same space.

“TunnelVision opens a portal into Chicago’s digital underground, featuring projection mapping and the work of visualists, designers, creative coders, analogue tinkerers and musicians that find their inspiration in the exploitation of the quirks and nuances of electronic technology,” said Vincent Naples, a curator and technologist who co-founded Canvas Chicago and works under the project name DreamBait.

Michael Edwards, president and CEO of Chicago Loop Alliance, said ACTIVATE aligns with CLA’s mission to create high-performing urban experiences in the Loop. Over the past four seasons, ACTIVATE has generated $2.3 million in estimated economic impact to Loop businesses, with nearly $1 million in 2017 alone. More than 61,000 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.

“Chicago Loop Alliance does a lot of things, but the goal of everything we do is to ensure the Loop remains a vibrant destination,” Edwards said. “ACTIVATE creates experiences unlike any other and invites people who may walk through the Loop every day to see it in a new way that inspires them, delights them and gives them a sense of pride in all the Loop has to offer.”

ACTIVATE sponsors include: Presenting sponsor School of the Art Institute of Chicago; title sponsors Lagunitas Brewing Company, Little Things and CH Distillery; team sponsor PNC Bank; and individual event sponsors Bobo’s Oat Bars, Topo Chico Sparkling Water, Brew Dr. Kombucha and Minigrow.

About ACTIVATE

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 placemaking initiative in 2014, making the 2018 season its fifth annual. For more information, please visit LoopChicago.com/activate.

About 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 LoopChicago.com.

About Canvas

Canvas is a network of producers, technicians, fabricators, designers and artists dedicated to an exploration of honest expression.  For more information, please visit CanvasChicago.com.

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