SOS Color Code 2020
Luftwerk & Normal
September 15 – November 3, 2020
The Artspace continues its commitment to dynamic public art projects with SOS Color Code 2020, an exterior installation on the façade and lawn of the Artspace beginning September 15, the International Day of Democracy, through the 2020 US Election Day, November 3, 2020. Chicago-based artists and designers Luftwerk and Normal have created a series of flags that transform the international sign of distress into a sign of solidarity and connectedness. Combining the universal language of Morse code with color theory, this installation stands as a call for humanity, solidarity, and a willingness to help one another during times of crisis. When the international distress signal SOS was adopted in 1908, its easily recognizable and unique code produced aural unity, a sense of calm in life or death situations. As the world adjusts to new norms in challenging times, SOS Color Code 2020 offers a reconsideration of how language, objects and symbols, and even color can help us find stable ground and safety no matter where we are.
About the Artists
Luftwerk is the artist collaboration of Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero. With space as their canvas, they transform environments into immersive experiences. Since founding in 2007, Luftwerk has amassed a significant body of work ranging from site-specific installations to experimental projects that interpret data. In each project they are interested in the abilities of how light and color can be utilized to shift perception and enhance experience.
Normal is a multi-disciplinary graphic design practice based in Chicago. Normal believes thoughtful design and collaboration strengthens our collective knowledge and defines new ways of seeing, communicating and experiencing the world. Normal is Renata Graw, Tim Curley & Noël Morical.
SOS Color Code Partner Sites
The SOS Color Code 2020 three-flag installation is being presented simultaneously at twelve partnering sites across the nation including Cleve Carney Museum of Art, Glen Ellyn, IL, CNL Projects & Art-In-Place, Chicago, IL, Elmhurst Art Museum, Elmurst, IL, H&R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO, Luftwerk, Chicago, IL, Mattress Factory Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, Minnesota Museum of American Art, Saint Paul, MN, The National Public Housing Museum, Chicago, IL, Normal Studio, Chicago, IL, Sarah Skaggs Independent Curatorial Projects, Chicago, IL, and the University of South Florida Institute for Research in Art|Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, FL.
The Artspace’s presentation of SOS Color Code 2020 coincides with A Flag That Flies Large Enough, a community installation on the Kansas City Art Institute campus, beginning October 26 and organized by the KCAI Center for Contemporary Practice inviting students, faculty, and staff to create and present flags that symbolize their beliefs and vision. The Artspace’s installation of Color Code also features a series of campaign lawn signs that spell out the full
SOS Morse code signal. Situated in specific public and domestic settings, during the crucial time leading up to the US
Election, SOS Color Code 2020 reminds us, as US Representative John Lewis said, “Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself.”
Follow #SOSColorCode to see all partner sites