In rumbling color: Gowanus subway tracks backdrop of light show

The Brooklyn Paper
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A Gowanus art group is lighting up the elevated F and G tracks along Ninth Street.

The light show, which has been happening nightly since Jan. 12, is meant to transform the hulking metal structure into a living thing, according to one of its masterminds.

“With everything we do the goal is to uplift and transform perspective,” said George DelBarrio, of the Vanderbilt Republic, a Gowanus artist group.

The project, which DelBarrio called a “photographic monument,” is a collaboration between DelBarrio’s group and Colin Bowring, an artist from San Francisco.

The Vanderbilt Republic has lit up the neighborhood before. In June, as the beloved Kentile Floors sign was in the process of being dismantled, the crew projected a light show on the remainder of the sign, using its scaffolding as a canvas.

The current installation is a departure from the group’s previous projections, which came from a computer. DelBarrio said he wanted to explore what he and his collaborators could create by using nothing more than theater lights and plastic filters.

“I’m among the last people trained to use a darkroom in photography, and I’m still in love with what you can discover by working outside of the digital work-form,” he said.

“Spectrum II” outside the Vanderbilt Republic (Ninth Street between Second Avenue and the Gowanus Canal, After dark, Jan. 22 and Jan. 23.

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at or by calling (718) 260–4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:
Well thats hipsterific!!!! Thanks from bringing your beards and lights to yea-olde Brooklyn. Yeah......thats an elevated subway line. you shined a colored light on it. You must be an artinsinal artist or something. So, clearly you are just another transplant. Please go home.
Jan. 22, 2015, 6:50 pm
ty from pps says:
Wow... I was wondering where the old crusty, nothing is acceptable unless it brings misery and hardship Swampy has been these days. You are a sad sad man. Most people would see this as brightening up an otherwise dark and grungy bit of the city... but not Swampy! Oh no! This is clearly an affront to all that is sacred in his brutal little world.
Jan. 23, 2015, 10:52 am
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
He's a classic Greenpoint blue-haired lady, that swampy. A relic. Got his two-car and his pension, sure, but for what. For what, when yer a mook. For what, with all these hipsters looking down on you. Chuckling at you along Manhattan Avenue. "Look at that Archie Bunker!" Sure, he's got his house. It's all he's got! All he ever talks about is his house, it's the source of his esteem. And an empty consolation that must be. Living in his mother's house in a neighborhood he can't control. It totally eats him up! Oh, but he owns his house! Ya, but it totally eats him up. Abbra ka friggin' zaaam baby.
Jan. 23, 2015, 12:43 pm
old time brooklyn from slope says:
hmmm swampy and choo choo are back after a long absence at the same time.

swampy - really - lighten up = nice to brighten things up. cannot tell for sure but looks like a par can with barn doors they are using which is good for a wide punchy throw.
Jan. 24, 2015, 11:53 am
The Chooch from The Bohemian Light Show says:
Well ... it's better than ... what you'd see if you shined a light on that corner 30 years ago. You spiff up the neighborhood, get rid of the trash, price out the bums, now you've got something to be proud of, something to shine a light on.
Jan. 26, 2015, 1:41 am

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