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Crown Fountain

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Crown Fountain


Structure in General

existing [completed]


amusement ornament


  • Because of the number of faces involved in the video rotation, very few of the subjects have reported seeing themselves on the fountain.
  • The artist originally wanted each face to be shown for 13 minutes.
  • Two different faces are shown simultaneously on the opposite towers, and no face reappears within any 72-hour interval.
  • The fountain is made of two 50-foot high glass-block towers in a rectangular wading pool. Video images of the faces of 1000 different Chicagoans are projected at random on the facing sides of the towers.
  • The face images were shot at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, with the subjects posing in a dentist's chair so the camera would not have to be adjusted.
  • There are two versions of each face in the video projection: one for summer with the mouth puckering, and one without for the cold months.
  • Each face appears for five minutes. At exactly 4:15, the mouth puckers and shoots out a stream of water like a gargoyle for 30 seconds. For the last 15 seconds the face grins.
  • Each movie of a face represents only 80 seconds of real time, stretched digitally to fit the 5-minute running time.

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1-99 South Michigan Avenue
110 East Monroe Street
1-99 South Michigan Avenue

Technical Data

Jul 2004

Involved Companies

Halvorson and Partners

Jaume Plensa
Krueck & Sexton

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