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FLOW/Im Fluss: light and water installation by Luftwerk

Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA) showcases a site-specific light and water installation from Luftwerk (creators of Luminous Field in Millennium Park) titled FLOW/Im Fluss, nightly Sept. 17-20 from 5 p.m-12 a.m. in Chicago’s Couch Place alley on State Street between Lake and Randolph Streets. The installation is part of CLA’s Loop Placemaking Initiative, a series of innovative public space activations downtown that challenge perceptions of urban environments and encourage future investment.

FLOW/Im Fluss is presented in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut Chicago and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Sister Cities Chicago and Hamburg. FLOW/Im Fluss is presented in conjunction with EXPO ART WEEK (Sept. 15-21), a citywide celebration of art and culture with EXPO CHICAGO, The International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art (Sept. 18-21), as its centerpiece.

Opening night of Flow/Im Fluss will happen during CLA’s ACTIVATE event on Wednesday, Sept. 17. The event will include a complimentary drink ticket for guests who RSVP in advance, with additional wine and beer available for purchase on site. Details will be announced next month at

Inspired by the element of water and its all-encompassing connectivity, Luftwerk’s FLOW/Im Fluss visualizes the characteristics of the Chicago River and Hamburg’s River Elbe through video compositions. The projected video will illuminate screens made of water—inviting viewers to immerse themselves into the flow of data collected from both rivers. This will be accompanied by live performances of Birgit Ulher’s Traces for trumpet, radio, speaker, objects and tape feeds.

“Having lived in both Hamburg and Chicago, we are very excited to create FLOW as part of the 20th anniversary sister city celebration,” says Luftwerk’s Petra Bachmaier. “Since both cities are located on rivers, FLOW is a gesture addressing the connectivity through water ways in general, while taking a closer look at the specific data readings of the two rivers, Elbe and Chicago River.”