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An augmented reality art exhibition will debut on the University of Chicago campus

Artist Jenny Holzer uses a mobile app to "project" quotes from the university's core curriculum on campus buildings.

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

While some Chicago museums have reopened their doors, many Chicagoans have been enjoying the city's best public art from a distance. A new work commissioned by the University of Chicago will present even more outdoor masterpieces to take in. Today, the private university announced that a public-facing work by Jenny Holzer (a UChicago alumnus) will go on display in October, using augmented reality to create virtual projections on buildings throughout the school's Hyde Park campus.

"YOU BE MY ALLY" uses 29 excerpts from readings that have been included in the University of Chicago's core curriculum—the set of liberal arts courses that all students must complete during their time at the college. Holzer selected the quotes used in the project in collaboration with the university's faculty and students, including passages written by W. E. B. Du Bois, Helen Keller, Toni Morrison, Friedrich Nietzsche, Plato and Virginia Woolf.

When the project launches on October 5, you'll be able to access a web-based augmented reality app with your phone and view animated "projections" of the selected passages on historically significant buildings throughout the University of Chicago campus, such as the Cobb Lecture Hall, Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts and Rockefeller Memorial Chapel. If you're not in Hyde Park, you're not out of luck—the app will allow you to "project" the quotes on your immediate surroundings.

The texts selected by Holzer will also be displayed on trucks with LED displays driving through Hyde Park, Chicago's South Side and the Loop on October 5 and 6. Those same trucks will drive through Chicago on October 24 and 30 displaying "nonpartisan get-out-the-vote" messages, some of which were written by University of Chicago students.

Holzer's augmented reality artwork will be viewable (in Chicago and elsewhere) through November 22.

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