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Blue Light District


2012 Blue Light District is inspired by Baltimore's blinking blue light surveillance cameras that run 24 hours a day. This stand of blue safety lights iare a constructed ecosystem that satirizes the divisive, penetrating blue flashing lights of Baltimore City. This piece is based on the P.O.D.S.S. project in Baltimore, Maryland. The acronym stands for Portable Overt Digital Surveillance System, of which there were at least 86 within Baltimore City. Originally installed in the city at Pennsylvania Avenue and Laurens Street in 2005, the cameras were intended to deter crime. The highly visible beacons have been a polarizing element of the city's crime strategy, as the cameras failed to produce reliable evidence and neighborhood residents are divided as to their efficacy. The blue lights are symbols of high-crime areas, and are notably absent from a number of Baltimore City neighborhoods. The unsuccessful project cost over $2 million and is being replaced by allegedly more robust ways to monitor and analyze footage. We challenge this urban dystopia and are creating new ways to connect community though light and sound.