A dreary piece of infrastructure in San Antonio, Texas recently became a pop-up cultural destination when artists Joe O’Connell and Blessing Hancock installed a series of six, orb-like chandeliers below a cement underpass. "Ballroom Luminoso," as the project is called, illuminates the typically unfrequented space with colored LED lights filtered through a spherical cage of recycled bicycle parks and custom-cut steel, casting silhouettes that speak of the area's history as well as its progressive future. .
The six chandeliers in this unconventional "ballroom" consist mostly of variously sized sprockets welded together to form alluring geometric patterns. In the daytime, the fixtures themselves glisten with the romantic industrial, steam-punkish aesthetic of their steel parts. But by night, the shadows that are magnified and projected on the cement surfaces of the underpass evoke a more artisanal, arts-and-crafts aura, appearing almost like stylized representations of nature.
Moreover, at the bottom of each fixture is a custom-made steel medallion incised with whimsical images that "play on the iconography of La Loteria, which has become a touchstone of Hispanic culture," explains a description of the artwork, making note of the community's strong Hispanic heritage. "Utilizing traditional tropes like La Escalera (the Ladder), La Rosa (the Rose), and La Sandía (the Watermelon), the piece alludes to the neighborhood’s farming roots and horticultural achievements. Each character playfully rides a bike acting as a metaphor for the neighborhood’s environmental progress, its concurrent eco-restoration projects, and its developing cycling culture." These lanterns thus beautifully layer different historical concepts of San Antonio, which are then quite literally layered upon the city's built environment.
[h/t This Is Colossal]