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Squidsoup on the Detroit Superior Bridge

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The Cleveland Foundation has awarded a Creative Fusion grant to the CUDC to support a publicly accessible installation on the streetcar level of the Detroit Superior Bridge.

Since 2008, the Foundation has brought more than 90 accomplished or rapidly rising artists from around the world to Cleveland as part of an international arts residency program. In 2019, Creative Fusion artists will focus on the Cuyahoga River in Downtown Cleveland to celebrate the remarkable recovery of the river over the past 50 years. The Waterways to Waterways edition of Creative Fusion will bring together a group of six international and six local artists to focus on projects that connect the regenerative efforts for the Cuyahoga to global waterways. This two-pronged initiative will incorporate works that artists are doing in other parts of the world that inspire continuing progress in Cleveland and around the globe while providing lessons Cleveland can share with the rest of the world about how to revive and reimagine a river.

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In the 19th and 20th centuries, the Cuyahoga River was so polluted that it caught fire 13 times. The river last burned on 22 June 1969. The spectacle of the burning river spurred federal lawmakers to establish water quality standards for US cities. In the 50 years since the last fire, the Cuyahoga River has experienced a remarkable regeneration and is now a major scenic and recreational asset in the city.

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June 22, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the last time the river burned. The CUDC will join the City of Cleveland’s Office of Sustainability and many local organizations in Cuyahoga50, a celebration of the river’s recovery. We will work with Squidsoup, an arts collaborative based in the UK, to create a large-scale installation on the streetcar level of the Detroit-Superior Bridge.

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Squidsoup uses light, sound, computers, digital and physical artefacts to create dynamic immersive experiences. Their work is elemental by nature. Squidsoup has worked on water, in the air and on solid ground – in tunnels, unoccupied shopping malls, forests, parks and botanical gardens, lochs, public squares and art galleries. Their works respond to the wind, to the flow of people, data and water, with digital overlays conceived as liminal materials that inhabit the same spaces as we do, yet as boundary objects and elements, straddling the real and the imaginary. Squidsoup’s installation for the Detroit-Superior Bridge has not been finalized yet, but more details will be available this spring.

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As part of this project, the CUDC is also updating a 2012 Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative (TLCI) plan aimed at making the lower level of the bridge a year-round public space and bike/pedestrian connection. There will be opportunities for public input into this plan as the year unfolds.

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