OPEN AIR Wrap-Up: Thousands Participate in Lozano-Hemmer Installation

Thousands of people from all over the world participated in Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s OPEN AIR installation on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, making it the largest crowd-sourced public art project ever seen in Philadelphia. Commissioned by the Association for Public Art, OPEN AIR transformed Philadelphia’s night sky every evening from September 20 – October 14, 2012 with 24 powerful robotic searchlights directed by participants’ voices and GPS locations. To learn more about the project, visit

Participants in "OPEN AIR" by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer look up at the searchlights
Photo James Ewing © 2012 for Association for Public Art


  • An estimated 17,000 people visited the Benjamin Franklin Parkway throughout the project
  • Close to 6,000 messages were recorded in over 20 languages (including Russian, Portuguese, Hebrew and Cantonese)
  • The OPEN AIR iPhone app was downloaded more than 7,000 times
  • Nearly 63,000 visited from 92 countries throughout the world
  • Messages from 127 famous Philadelphians were featured in the project’s pre-recorded “Voices of Philly” archive, compiled in partnership with WHYY

PRESS RELEASE: “Philadelphia’s Open Air inspires Memorial Tributes, Marriage Proposals, Lullabies, Rants and More, Draws Participants from 92 Counties, and Welcomes Thousands of Visitors to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway”

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by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (b. 1967)

Benjamin Franklin Parkway between 21st and 24th Streets

Inspired by Philadelphia’s rich tradition of democracy and respect for free speech, “OPEN AIR” transformed Philadelphia’s night sky with 24 powerful robotic searchlights that were directed by participants’ voices and GPS locations.

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