Planned 'Gates' Sculpture Trades Traffic Noise for Calming Lights Below BQE

By Alan Neuhauser on September 18, 2012 12:29pm | Updated on September 18, 2012 1:19pm

The Artist Build Collective is hosting a fundraiser for the project Thursday night, Sept. 20, 2012.
The Artist Build Collective is hosting a fundraiser for the project Thursday night, Sept. 20, 2012.
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Artist Build Collaborative

RED HOOK — Snarling trucks and blaring car horns could be transformed into glowing pulses of light in a new sculpture exhibit envisioned for a busy intersection beneath the Gowanus Expressway in Red Hook.

Titled "Silent Lights," the installation would consist of six colored rectangular gates lining a sidewalk near the Hamilton Avenue and Clinton Street intersection, one of the loudest and busiest thoroughfares in southwest Brooklyn, according to the work's designer, Artist Build Collaborative. As night falls, LED lights inside the gates would brighten and dim based on the intensity of sound nearby.

"We noticed that while we were walking, we were barely able to talk to each other and it was really, really dark," said Valeria Bianco, creative director of Artist Build Collaborative, which is based in Red Hook. "So we got this really simple idea that we wanted to create something out of the negative and turn it into positive, and we found out this is positive."

Each gate, made from steel and aluminum, costs about $5,000, Bianco said. The project started last September, and it is expected to be installed by the spring of next year. Slated to be on display for 11 months, it could stay there for as long as two years if granted an extension by the city's Department of Transporation.

A prototype of one of the gates will be on display at a fundraiser for Silent Lights Thursday night at The Green Building at 452 Union St. in Carroll Gardens. The event, which starts at 7 p.m., features live music, local food and drinks, and prizes from Brooklyn Bowl, The Good Fork, Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pies, and other neighborhood venues, stores and restaurants. Tickets cost $50, and can be bought via the Artist Build Collaborative website.

Silent Light's is the collaborative's latest pedestrian- and transportation-centric themed artwork. In 2008, it transformed metered parking spaces around the city into tiny, grassy parks.

A rendering of 'Silent Lights' which the Artist Build Collective plans to install at the intersection of Hamilton Avenue and Clinton Street in Red Hook.
A rendering of 'Silent Lights' which the Artist Build Collective plans to install at the intersection of Hamilton Avenue and Clinton Street in Red Hook.
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Artist Build Collaborative

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