Occidental Square is Getting a Light-Up Corridor

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Illumination Station

This piece was originally published by Curbed on Nov. 28, 2018

The Illumination Station art installation is supposed to cut through Seattle’s long winter

Seattle is known for rain, but, as many have said before us, what Seattle really has is darkness. This time last year, we had a week darker than than it was during the solar eclipse. The sun has already begun to set before 4:30, and will continue to do so until January. Even for longtime, seasoned Seattleites, it can be a long, depressing time.

Starting December 1, an art installation in Occidental Square will try to combat that darkness. For “Illumination Station,” Georgetown-based art collaborative Electric Coffin took a 20-foot-long shipping container and transformed it into an immersive, light-up art display, designed to inject a bit of springtime into the landscape—starting with glowing floral patterns on the outside. Inside, a backlit ceiling mosaic rains multi-colored lights down on the visitor.

It’s not a perfect solution. In addition to being, well, not springtime, we asked if there’s full-spectrum light in there, like the kind used to treat seasonal affective disorder. “Unfortunately it’s not,” said James Sido, spokesperson for Downtown Seattle Association, which is sponsoring the installation.

But hey: While it won’t cure your depression, it could brighten your day, figuratively or literally. It’s at least a chance to take a few selfies. “Illumination Station” will be on display December 1, 2018 through January 31, 2019.