Yesterday afternoon, we received a note from the Chicago Loop Alliance's Ty Tabbing regarding my post on the new Lightscape installation on State Street, admirably restrained considering how rough I was on the project. Mr. Tabbing informs me that the listing I noticed in some of the "reeds" - the individual light poles - is actually intended to help withstand Chicago's winds - with today's 40mph gusts, they'll get a workout - and mimic the movement of Midwest prairie grass. He also challenges my characterization of Lightscape as a "one-size-fits-all" solution with a reminder that it was designed specifically for the State Street site. It was not my intention to suggest otherwise, and if that was the impression I gave, I apologize. When I wrote "one-size-fits-all", it's referring not to the origin of its design, but to the generic nature of the project. Changing the color palette and music at different times of year doesn't disguise the fact the entire thing is numbingly uniform, to the point where I believe Lightscape will ultimately become as invisible as a street lamp, which by the way, actually have more varied decoration by replacing the globes with Jack O'Lanterns for Halloween, golden baubles for Christmas, etc.
More importantly, Mr. Tabbing corrects what he says was a quote taken out of content in Crain's. While the decreasing vacancy rate on State has reduced the venues for display, Mr. Tabbing assures me - and I hope he won't mind me quoting him here - "Pop-Up galleries were, and will remain, an important strategy to bring art and artists into the Loop." And that's very good news.