Association for Public Art presents Open Air

Full-service communications for the world premiere of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's interactive public art experience

Combining public art with mobile technology, Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer presented the world premiere of Open Air from Sept. 20–Oct. 14, 2012. Commissioned by the Association for Public Art (aPA, formerly Fairmount Park Art Association), Open Air  was a spectacular interactive light experience directed by participants’ voices and GPS locations, illuminating the night sky from Philadelphia’s historic Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The project was funded in part by the inaugural round of the Philadelphia Knight Arts Challenge and presented in conjunction with the 2012 Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and the 2012 DesignPhiladelphia Festival.

Canary Promotion led the communications for this high profile project, from messaging and copy writing to a national media relations campaign and comprehensive advertising that included several successful media partnerships.  The Open Air media campaign garnered high-impact national pieces, including a widely distributed Associated Press feature that was published in nearly 40 separate outlets, and total market saturation in the Philadelphia region through online, print and broadcast TV and radio coverage in anticipation of and throughout the project’s run.

By the end of the installation, nearly everyone in the city and beyond was familiar with the project, and nearly every area news organization had covered it, often more than once. An estimated 17,000 people visited the Benjamin Franklin Parkway throughout the project, with nearly 63,000 people visiting from 92 countries around the world, producing close to 6,000 messages in over 20 languages, making Open Air the largest crowd-sourced public art project ever seen in Philadelphia.

 The project is archived online at