Breathing Lights

PROJECT OVERVIEW

Title: Breathing Lights
Photo Credit: William Mebane
Lead Artist(s):

Contributing Artist(s):
Barbara Nelson

Description:

In October and November 2016, Breathing Lights illuminated the windows of hundreds of vacant houses in Albany, Schenectady and Troy, NY. Warm light filled each window with a diffuse glow that mimicked the gentle rhythm of human breathing. Concentrated in neighborhoods with high levels of vacancy, Breathing Lights transformed abandoned structures from pockets of shadows into places of warmth. Lead artists Adam Frelin and Barbara Nelson worked with dozens of regional partners to secure and install at 200 sites and to produce eight months of programming and events, including youth media projects, building reclamation clinics, community arts presentations and policy discussions. The unprecedented, multi-city installation reinvigorated partners around the Capital Region’s most visible symptom of decades of disinvestment. At the end of the installation, houses – one by one – fell dark. In sharing a sense of loss came a stir to action. Breathing Lights illuminated windows in 200 vacant houses in the New York Capital Region cities of Albany, Schenectady, and Troy. Most houses lit were owned by cities, counties or land banks. Breathing Lights lit approximately 10% of the 2,000 vacant buildings in the region. Not surprisingly, the vacant houses were concentrated in the most disinvested neighborhoods in each city –Arbor Hill and the South End in Albany, North Troy, and Hamilton Hill and Mount Pleasant in Schenectady. Full maps can be viewed at www.breathinglights.com/locations.

PROJECT LOCATION

Scattered sites across NY's Capital Region; Full maps can be viewed at www.breathinglights.com/locations.
Vacant houses in Albany, Schenectady, and Troy, NY
, NY
United States

click the map to enlarge
PROJECT TEAM

City of Albany, NY
City of Schenectady, NY
City of Troy, NY
City of Schenectady, NY
Albany County Land Bank, Capital Region Land Bank, Troy Community Land Bank, Albany Barn, Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady, Sanctuary for Independent Media, Social Enterprise and Training Center
Adam Zaranko, David Hogenkamp, Joe Fama, Kristen Holler, Shane Bargy, Branda Miller, Rebecca Paavola
PROJECT DETAILS

Temporary
700,000
$500,000 and above
Grant
Private
Installation, Site integrated architectural work
Electronics, LED, Light, Panels, Plastic, Wood
2016
2017