The Breathing Lights Project
The three-year planning and ultimate staging of Bloomberg Philanthropies-sponsored Breathing Lights in 2016 and 2017 showcased TAP’s mastery of public art on a grand, regional scale. A result of brainstorming by Executive Director Barb Nelson and artist Adam Frelin, Breathing Lights without doubt was ambitious in its application of light technology and art to illuminate from within hundreds of vacant and at times perilous buildings. But as important was the dialogue about urban blight that continues among the three mayors of Albany, Schenectady and Troy, dozens of public and private partners, and individual artists. Breathing Lights showed the emotional and financial investment residents have made in distressed neighborhoods and discovered there the rich talent of young rappers, professional videographers, established artists and poets who were employed to affect social change.
The following excerpt is from an article authored by Charles Duncan of the arts journal Brooklyn Rail:
“Hardscrabble, real-world counterpoints to the saccharine glowing cottages of the late Thomas Kinkade, these buildings advertise their agency as once (and hopefully future) centers of human kinship. Pulsating like fireflies, often they stand alongside occupied residences, courting suitors with whom they hope to reenter the intimate dance between dwelling and inhabitant. As a mark of its success, Breathing Lights engenders observations beyond the lit buildings’ windows; one begins to notice the even larger number of additional abandoned or derelict homes scattered throughout the neighborhoods…eerily emblazoned with a large red X, warning firefighters that the structure may be unsafe to enter, like an added scarlet letter of shame upon the dejected. The good news is that many of these abandoned homes are substantial stone structures with significant aesthetic value, and attention being afforded to them through this project may ultimately ensure their preservation.”
To learn more, go to the Breathing Lights Website HERE