This winter, Clevelanders can watch ice form on Lake Erie from the middle of Public Square.
A public art installation from LAND Studio will feature a large video kiosk showing live camera feeds from Gibraltar Island, Put-in-Bay and Maumee Bay.
“Waiting for a Break” by artist Julia Christensen will be unveiled Dec. 16, with shots of cold water and sky. The project will culminate in the spring, when the ice breaks.
“I think the main idea is to connect people to the lake in a way they’re not usually connected to it,” said LAND Studio project manager Vince Reddy. “Most people, they might see it from the highway. But especially in the winter time, people don’t often engage with it or even think about it.”
Christensen, an Oberlin College associate professor of integrated media, has spent the last few weeks installing cameras on the shores.
“Although the shots will not move, variations in the frame will always be happening: birds will fly across the screen, fisherman may appear on the ice, clouds will move overhead, and of course, the ice will endlessly move and change,” says the project web site. “Commuters who frequent the bus stop will develop a relationship with the imagery, and will notice environmental shifts as time goes by.”
Maybe Clevelanders will venture out of their office at lunch, to get fresh air and watch the water in the western basin of Lake Erie.
The project is sponsored by the Fowler Family Foundation, which last year brought the flock of giant brightly colored plastic sparrows, frogs, meerkats, snails and wolves to downtown.
Starting in January, the project will also be shown at SPACES Gallery in the Hingetown section of Ohio City.
The installations will remain until June 2018, when summer heat warms Lake Erie, giving us another season of water fun.
“Anyone who’s ever been to one of the Great Lakes in the spring time when the ice is breaking it up, it’s really spectacular,” Reddy said. “I don’t think we really see that that often, even though we live right next to the lake.”