Strange Light Installations, Downtown Chicago

Last Thursday, I noticed these strange… things, set up along the sidewalk near State and Monroe. At first glance, I thought they were lights of some kind – tall stalks with pill-shaped lightbulbs at the tips.

It’s hard to tell though. They seem like lights, anyhow. They didn’t seem to be “on” during the day, and my hunch was that they were solar lights – storing energy throughout the day, and only coming on at nighttime.

As I was leaving work later that day, with the sun very much set… I looked over and saw these guys, sitting in the dark. No light, no illumination, no nothing.

Yesterday, I noticed a new crop of these lights near the entrance to our office on State and Jackson. They hadn’t been here the week before, and I’m guessing there are more of these guys set all up and down State Street.

The thing is – they seem to just sit here. When I walk by during the evening, long after the sun has gone down, they look exactly the same as they do during the day. No flicker, no glimmer.

One new thing I noticed was this thing at the end of the base. I’m not sure if it’s a spotlight, or if it’s some kind of solar collector (I was expecting something more like actual solar panels).

Does anyone have any idea what these are? I could see a single instance being some kind of art installation, but the fact that there are more than one on State Street suggests to me some kind of utility or function. Anyone know if these are actually lights?

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I wondered about these too. Here is what I found. I’m very curious what they will look like on. Seems cool – and at the very least, executed better than the typographically challenged GOGOOGOODOGOODOODOO project that preceded it.

    Allison Reply

    • Ah, thanks for finding this! Happy to hear that they are, indeed, lights… and will remain cautiously optimistic about the music and “special announcements.”

      And I so totally hear you about the Go Do Good campaign. Not only do the “O” and “D” look ridiculously similar, the way the word is broken in all the signage almost guarantees a mis-read. First pass is always “Go Do Go… oh, wait.”

      avoision Reply

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