The centerpiece of the 2010 PDX Bridge Festival was the Hawthorne Bridge, which celebrated its hundredth anniversary. To celebrate the centennial of the nation’s oldest working vertical lift bridge, I designed an installation that turned the bridge into a kinetic art installation. A solar-powered fabric and lighting display, installed for the duration of the festival, made use of commuter interactivity to transform the Hawthorne Bridge into an illuminated map of how this bridge—the most widely used and loved of the six county-operated downtown bridges—is utilized on a daily basis. This, in turn, raised awareness of the role bridges play in bringing us together, both socially and geographically. Thus, as the thousands of people moved across the structure each night, they became part of a conversation about the role bridges play in our lives, turning mundane infrastructure into social commentary and a means for artistic expression.
Total audience: 40,000 each day