Do you remember about two years back, when the Mural Arts Program commandeered a section of the Schuylkill for J. Meejin Yoon‘s Light Drift? We do, and not just because it was utterly beautiful and cool and sublime. It also marked a moment of realization, for us, that a sea change was happening for Mural Arts — that it wasn’t necessarily just about walls anymore. We were instantly reminded up of Light Drift when we laid eyes upon Thoughtbarn‘s Escaped Infrastructure, on view now at Canal View Park (intersection of Main and Connaroe Streets in Manayunk).
Like Light Drift, Escaped Infrastructure plays with light and water, but also with sound and, er, a series of tubes:
As visitors walk along the towpath, a series of water pumps in the canal are activated by motion sensors. The canal water, usually hidden from view on Main Street, is drawn through the 50’ long bundle of clear tubes. As it pours out of the other end, it also lends the canal a new audible quality – the water can be heard for the first time.
It also has a very direct purpose, too: To draw attention to the Manayunk Canal, which is currently in the planning stages of being restored to its original navigable and aquatic-life-sustaining condition. Escaped Infrastructure will be on display until July 29th.