Merchandise Mart will be turned into the world’s largest digital art display

A public-private initiative to turn the limestone facade of Chicago’s 1930 art deco Merchandise Mart into a nearly three-acre riverfront digital canvas is officially forging ahead.

Dubbed ‘Art on theMart,’ the array of 34 video projectors will debut in October according to Sunday’s joint announcement by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and property owner Vornado Realty Trust.

San Francisco-based Obscura Digital was tapped lead the project last year. Though the group created similar albeit temporary video projections on other iconic buildings such as the Guggenheim Museum, Sydney Opera House, and the Vatican, ‘Art on theMart’ will be the largest permanent installation of its kind in the world. Obscura is partnering with local architecture firm Valerio Dewalt Train Associates.

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