An interactive LED light display called Silent Lights could turn the Smith and 9th Street area of Brooklyn into a dazzling light show! The project repurposes the noisy traffic under the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, transforming it into an illuminated showcase of colorful lights. Silent Lights has already received a $5,000 grant from the NYC Department of Transportation, and is launching a Kickstarter campaign to cover the rest.
The vibrant project will turn the pedestrian pathway under the BQE at Hmilton Avenue and 9th Street into an ever-changing display of color. The buzzing of passing cars, horns honking, engines revving and pedestrian voices would be picked up by microphones hidden around the intersection. The noise would then processed by a computer that would be synced with the microphones. Silent Lights would then transform those sounds into a visual display! The traffic noise would thus be translated into movement, lighting up each gate in the display with bold LED lights. As noise increases, so does the intensity of the light. In other words, the flow of the traffic would act as the choreographer for the lights’ movement and vibrance.
The interactive project celebrates the idea of New York being stereotypically loud, with an onslaught of noise at all hours, and creates a visual homage to it. Being in the public realm, Silent Lights would also provide an opportunity for members of the community to connect and interact with one another as they play with the installation during their commutes. Silent Lights is also planning to introduce design and technology to local Brooklyn teams, in a collaboration with Control Group and Red Hook Initiative, and teach kids in the area how to make their own technical displays.
If the project is funded, it will help transform a neglected site into a glowing art installation, as well as give back to the community.