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World’s Largest Digital Art Announced For Chicago

Mar 2, 2018

By Julissa Treviño smithsonian.comMarch 1, 2018

hen Chicago’s Merchandise Mart opened in 1930, commanding two-and-a-half city blocks in the city’s downtown Loop, it was the world’s largest building.

That title stood for more than ten years, until the art deco building was usurped by the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C., in 1943. Now, the historic space is poised to take on a new “world’s-largest” mantle—this time for its art. A new initiative will turn its limestone exterior in the world’s largest digital art display, reports Jay Koziarz for Curbed Chicago.

Called ‘Art on theMart,’ the permanent large-scale lighting installation will be a digital canvas spanning across nearly 3 acres of its river-facing façade. The project was announced Sunday by Chicago Mayor Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the city’s department of cultural affairs and special events, and property owner Vornado Realty Trust, who will fund the large-scale installation.

The San Francisco-based Obscura Digital, which has created temporary video projects on the façades of the Guggenheim Museum, Sydney Opera House and the Vatican, will lead the project, in partnership with local architecture firm Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, Koziarz reports.

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