What is The Beta Test?

It represents less than 2% of what will one day be a two-block interactive lighting installation.

In Summer of 2015, we completed a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised close to $60,000 to fund a twelve-foot section of lights on the Wabash L tracks between Monroe and Adams. We have been referring to this min-installation as The Beta Test. This trial installation will last up to one year and allow us to troubleshoot technological, logistic, and design hurdles prior to the full two-block installation.

The beta was installed on Monday, January 25, 2016  and will be turned on for the first time on February 4. The beta test lights will remain on for the next 6-12 months, turning on around sunrise every day and turn off each evening between 1 and 2am the next morning.

 Seth and Jack with members of the install team from Aldridge Electric, Intelligent Lighting Creations, and CDOT.

Seth and Jack with members of the install team from Aldridge Electric, Intelligent Lighting Creations, and CDOT.

While the beta lights will not be interactive, they will be programmed throughout the life of the test to tell unique stories about Chicago. This programing will include using the lights to exhibit the work of local digital and visual artists, as a data visualization platform, and a tool for public art education programming.

In addition to troubleshooting design and technical challenges, Newell and Unger will take the next year to raise money to fund the full installation, seeking support from corporate and private donors and foundations.