Canvas is a digital artwork that utilizes custom software to create abstract color compositions derived from the daily motion of the city.

The algorithm analyzes each video for paths of motion, so moments like a person walking, or a car driving become the ‘brushstrokes’ that slowly create each abstraction, and as each video collides with the next, new compositions unfold in real time, allowing the city to paint pictures of itself.

Intentionally referencing the tradition of abstract painting, the artwork has the ability to generate more than 5,000 unique compositions from nearly 5 hours of initial footage specially shot at 16 locations within the River North neighborhood – reflecting the flow of people, traffic, trains, the river that borders it, and the sky above it.

Designed by ESI Design, Canvas is permanently installed at 515 North State Street, Chicago (USA).  It was selected as a winner of a 2018 Good Design Award.

  • Client: Beacon Capital Partners
  • Date: June 2016
  • Service: Creative Director & Art Director