The commuter rail bridge that goes over Dudley Street has been unlit during the evenings making it a dark and deterring place for people who ride the train or simply walk under it to go through. This is the space immediately before entering or exiting the commuter rail station. The darkness associated with danger creates a significant physical and visual divide as you move along Dudley Street as well as one’s perception of the commuter rail. Adding light to this space transforms the bridge into a gateway rather than a barrier between neighborhoods.
So what did we do about it? We created a Productive Fiction. Over two evenings in the fall of 2014, our installation of lights and an illuminated red carpet transformed the bridge into a bright space. People old and young, walked, biked, skipped on the red carpet! As people walked through, we gathered their comments on how lighting the bridge would transform their experiences and perceptions. It was clear that the need for more light was felt by everyone who came through and that this had been their sentiment for years.
This intervention happened as part of our work to explore areas near commuter rail station areas and pose possibilities for the Fairmount/Indigo Line CDC Collaborative. Thank you to Risa Horn, Artist in Residence, who worked tirelessly with us to install lighting and connect with people. We especially thank Marleny Rosa of Familia Grocery II, owner of the store next to the bridge, for participating and accommodating our needs.
As a Productive Fiction, Lighting up the Bridge inspired a cascade of community events, a commission of a lighting artist which then resulted in the bridge’s permanent new lighting. See our work that followed this initial temporary installation, Lighting the Line [link].