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All-Nite Tetherball at DLECTRICITY

A lamppost covered in rainbow stripes of LED lights, with a tetherball attached to the top.

Stamps professors Roland Graf, Nick Tobier, and Michael Rode­mer teamed up with Cameron Kabacinski (College of Engineering, Class of 2021) to transform three municipal light poles on Kirby Street outside the Detroit Institute of Arts into an interactive plaything – and with it the surrounding urban space from utility to play. Wrapped in colorful LED strips similar to the art of urban knitting, the light effects displayed on the poles can be set in motion by interacting with an illuminated ball attached to it.

The project will première as part of DLEC­TRIC­ITY, a major light-based art + technology festival in Detroit, on Friday, Sep 24, 2021 (7:00 p.m. – Midnight) and Saturday, Sep 25, 2021 (7:00 p.m. – Midnight). Set up on municipal light poles, this installation creates an urban icon with references to both the neighborhood barber pole — an illuminated, spinning column of stripes that calls out to pedestrians — and street games. It offers a brilliant, interactive interpretation of a favorite playground staple, a tetherball pole.