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Visitors Interact with Chicago’s Mind-Bending Light Projections

How do our eyes perceive color and what kind of illusions can be made with just light? While this fall, New Yorkers have Yayoi Kusama's new mirrored infinity rooms, those living in Chicago have their own mind-bending installations. Art collective Luftwerk has created large-scale, site-specific installations using projected video at the Chicago Cultural Center. From now till January 5, 2014, come see SHIFT, three distinct yet interconnected installations that promise to transport the viewer into an immersive experience of sight, color and sound.

The driving force of these works is Luftwerk's interest in the basic relationship between color and light and how light and darkness determine how our eyes perceive color.

Threshold is a mirrored, tapering work that mimics the narrow doorways of the gallery while projected beams of light grow, shrink, and bend on the walls and off the mirrors. The center's gallery walls make it look like there's a secret portal to another world! Synthesis transforms your silhouette into slowly changing color fields, recasting purple, green, orange, red, yellow, and blue versions of yourself. It is accompanied by a sound piece, composed by Owen Clayton Condon. Finally, Spectrum is a re-imagined color wheel of 529 painted panels with light projected on each tile. As the video illuminations interact with the painted panels, more than 3,174 tones of red, blue, and yellow morph and meld, creating new color palettes and enabling you to see between colors.

Below, see how some clever Instagrammers have interacted with each of the three installations. Interestingly, the work Synthesis doesn't come alive until a visitor interacts with it. Only movements through the gallery affect the color patterns of light projected onto the floor.

Above photo: Courtney Cheatham

Photo: Daniel Seung Lee

Photo: Israel Reza

Photo: Israel Reza

Photo: streetsdept

Photo: Sara V (aglet)

Photo: Paul Octavious

Photo: Ryann (cirriform)

Photo: Demian Najera

Photo: Hellion Young

Photo: Cody Raduha

Photo: icn_ord

Photo: elmelhems

Photo: Emi Tolibas

Photo: Amy (kingartcollective)

Photo: Israel Reza

Photo: LLanet

Photo: Courtney Cheatham

Photo: Lisa (amusemymuse)

Chicago Cultural Center website

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