Triforium Project
Triforium Project   
Los Angeles, CA |

The Triforium is a six-story, 60-ton public artwork in Downtown Los Angeles by artist JOSEPH YOUNG. Its original design includes 1,494 multicolored glass cubes that glow in synchrony to music from a 79-note glass bell carillon, making it the largest musical instrument of its kind on Earth. It stands in Fletcher-Bowron Square, in the shadow of City Hall, a stone’s throw from Grand Park.

Unfortunately, the Triforium was 40 years ahead of his time. The computer installed in the structure to synchronize the bells and lighting effects was plagued with problems from the beginning. It was politically contested and denounced by art critics. Its incandescent bulbs have pretty much burned out. The instrument was removed and sold. The control room was locked down. The lights went out. BUT STILL IT STANDS.

We are a coalition of artists, urban planners, civic leaders, and LA enthusiasts who believe that Joseph Young’s vision for an interactive light and sound instrument deserves a second chance.

We have technology now that was unavailable in 1975. We want to restore the Triforium to its original intent, with long-lasting, power-saving LEDs, and build it a new brain. An inexpensive, networked system can achieve what Young never could with his refrigerator-sized computers. We want the Triforium to be Los Angeles' instrument, available for everyone to play, by creating an app to compose and send “polyphonoptic” compositions straight to the Triforium, and invite local artists to engage directly with the work.

Restored to its intended grandeur, the Triforium can serve as a beacon for Los Angeles’ bright future. Above all, it can shine a light on public artwork itself—and signal the flickering of a new movement, one that encourages people to reclaim and celebrate public artworks in their cities.

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