SILHOUETTES BILLBOARD
Installation
McArdle Drawbridge, between Chelsea and Boston MA
2005

'Silhouettes' was a game design implemented on a billboard located at a gateway intersection into Chelsea MA in conjunction with the popular Chelsea MA community newspaper, The Chelsea Record. The intersection leads the way to one of two draw bridges that provide direct access from Chelsea to Boston over Boston Harbor's industrial waterway. During the frequent bridge openings for passing vessels, traffic is stopped for 5-10 minutes. The game helps to pass the time.

'Silhouettes' uses a pictographic system to awaken recognition and appreciation of local everyday monuments sometimes overlooked or forgotten by the town’s residents. Similar to Rorschach ink blots, the shapes will have different symbolic meaning for the residents of Chelsea than to other people who see the billboard. For instance, the boxer figure in the center of the billboard will appear as a generic boxer to most people, but, to a Chelsea resident this would be recognized as the silhouette of John Ruiz, a professional heavyweight champion from Chelsea.

While some of the images are easily discerned as local monuments such as the Tobin Bridge, others are less obvious, requiring more thought and perhaps several stops at the bridge to recognize. The game aspires to make people "look again" at their own city, expanding the imageability of the city and the question of what a city is made of.

Sponsored by: 
Clear Channel Outdoor - Billboard Owner/Printer
Chelsea Record Newspaper