ChicagoLand is a new series of works by Daniel Lavitt that recounts and explores the urban living environment of Chicago though the eyes of the artist. Utilizing the vocabulary of miniatures, Lavitt engages with specific Chicago locations, recreating and manipulating them according to the collective and personal emotional charges embedded within each site. From the home of the late local artist Roger Brown, to the infamous Cabrini Green projects, to the artist’s first apartment in Chicago, the various works address the physical, as well as the psychological space of being a Chicago resident.
Each work in ChicagoLand is outfitted with its own electrical system that varies in complexity and security based on the economic landscape of its original counterpart. Microprocessors equipped with infrared distance detectors and high output LEDs arm some of the fancier representations while traditional incandescent light bulbs and simple circuits are used to secure and light locations of lesser economic stature. However, despite the “security system” of each work in the show, the viewer is encouraged to approach each piece for a closer inspection, allowing the onlooker to indulge in the slightly voyeuristic behavior that we all typically aim to resist.