Detroit, MI - The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), in collaboration with Cliff Garten Studio, is seeking community input for the selection of songs to be featured in the text on the Sounds of Detroit sculpture.
MDOT and Garten participated in two community forums this fall, both held at Carhartt, 5800 Cass Ave., directly across from the site of the future art installation. During the forums, there was consensus that the narrative of the art should pay homage to the history of music in Detroit. Garten’s community-inspired design contains serpentine lines representing sound waves that are laser cut from the surface of the screen. Running in between the sound waves are six lines of text that roll with the lines of the soundwaves, much in the way that lyrics respond to the rhythm and timing of a song.
This sculpture is intended as a gathering place and is part of the ongoing bridge replacement for Cass Avenue over I-94. The songs listed in the survey were produced and recorded at the Detroit United Sounds System Recording Studio or by artists native to Detroit.
The voting runs started Wednesday, Nov. 22, and ends Sunday, Dec. 10, at https://bit.ly/SoundsofDetroit.
The Cass Avenue public art project was developed after extensive public engagement on the I-94 modernization project. A total of 146 artists applied and were considered by the Public Art Committee composed of local arts professionals and agency representatives advising MDOT. They unanimously recommended Garten for the project, recognizing his tested experience in the field of public art producing work that is sustainable, which is critical for transportation infrastructure projects. Garten is the founder of Cliff Garten Studio in Venice, California, and has produced integrated art for numerous bridge projects. In 2018, he led a design team that created the award-winning American Civil Rights Memorial in Memphis, Tennessee, I AM A MAN Plaza that pays tribute to the 1968 Sanitation Workers Strike and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.