When Slovenian artist Matej Vogrincic first visited New Haven at the invitation of Site Projects, Inc., it was the abandoned, depressed Farmington Canal cut in the middle of the city’s busy legal/financial center and award-winning arts district that caught his attention. Opened for commercial traffic in 1828, the Farmington Canal failed to produce the expected revenues and was soon converted to an industrial rail line, remaining active into the 1960’s. Although many sections of this right-of-way between New Haven and Northampton, MA have been converted to a popular linear park, the renovation of this final section has yet to be undertaken—it remains a forgotten place in the middle of a vibrant, modern downtown.
While in New Haven, Vogrincic visited the Eli Whitney Museum and learned of another icon of New Haven and America’s industrial heritage: the Erector Set. New Haven’s A.C. Gilbert Company manufactured these nationally renowned metal toy construction kits throughout most of the 20th Century.
Within a few days, Vogrincic had identified the tools and the place to create a striking site-specific, temporary work of art.
Download the information brochure
Visit the site of Vogrincic's American premiere installation now, as it is in its completed state. The Farmington Canal has been tranformed from an abandoned rail cut to an amazing site-specific temporary work of art that has reframed New Haven's history and identity in the process. This forgotten place is now back into view in the urban landscape.
Browse the gallery and watch the videos to experience all steps of the production of this installation.
This site project can be viewed from Whitney Avenue, Grove Street, and along the Park of the Arts (located in between Grove Street and Audubon Street). Key viewing locations include the Whitney Avenue overlook, down the steps from Whitney Avenue toward the Park of the Arts, the Grove Street overlook, under the Grove Stree Garage, and in the Grove Street Garage (including at end of the 1st level overlooking the center of the canal and the top floor overlooking Grove Street.