"It's almost like an ‘Alice in Wonderland' moment, where you go into a completely new environment and you become part of it."
The work is called Spatial Chromointerference by world-renowned Venezuelan artist, Carlos Cruz-Diez, a pioneer of optical and kinetic art. Moving lines of light will be activated from 26 projectors inside the underground space to create an immersive environment.
Nyquist said that she hopes that the artwork will evoke "a sense of wonder and curiosity" and that viewers come away with "a euphoric kind of feeling of having experienced something that’s unusual and unexpected and quite beautiful."
Visitors are encouraged to wear light-colored clothing, or can be issued white lab coats to wear inside the Cistern, to amplify the effects of color and light.
Spatial Chromointerference is the second installation at the Cistern, which opened in 2016 with the video installation Rain by Magdalena Fernández. The space is a 1926 underground city reservoir that was restored and repurposed by Buffalo Bayou Partnership.
Regarding future plans for the Cistern's public art program, Nyquist said that the ambition is "to collaborate with world-recognized artists, but also we want to give a chance to local artists ... and emerging artists certainly as well."
The Cruz-Diez installation will open to the public on May 12, 2018 and remain on view through January 13, 2019 at the Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern. Tickets and viewing schedules can be found here.
Listen to the complete interview with Judy Nyquist below: