Silent Lights takes the Brooklyn Queens Expressway’s ever-present traffic noise and makes it visible, illuminating the gloomy, clamorous underpass with a pathway of peaceful lighted gates. The lights respond to the sounds above them, lighting up sequentially as vehicles pass overhead. The hum of the traffic thus becomes a tangible, reactive presence rather than a hidden aggravation, and passersby can walk beneath the multicolored gates to experience a moment of respite from the constant noise. The installation also acts as a way-finding element, making the inconspicuous pedestrian pathway more visible and engaging.
Silent Lights was created in partnership with the Urban Arts Program of the Department of Transportation and the Brooklyn Arts Council. The project also received generous support from Artplace America, Black Rock Foundation, Designers Lighting Forum of New York, Awesome Foundation, and individual donors.
We are also partnering with the Red Hook Initiative to develop a series of workshops for local teens who want to learn physical computing. The installation will take on the role of a living classroom in these workshops. Workshops will start in the Spring of 2014.
In 2012 we held a fundraising event to raise additional funding for the project. Generous donations were made by family, friends, and the local Brooklyn community to make this project a reality.