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Photos: ‘Impulse’ and Its Musical, Colorful Seesaws Take Over Pentagon City Parking Lot

Ever seen a light-up, musical seesaw? If not, you might want to swing by a new public art installation in a parking lot sitting on the border of Crystal City and Pentagon City.

Starting last week, the lot became home to “Impulse,” an interactive art display designed to spruce up the previously barren space at the corner of 12th Street S. and S. Eads Street, just across from the Whole Foods grocery store.

The Crystal City Business Improvement District and property owner LCOR teamed up to bring the new exhibit to the area, after it was initially displayed in downtown Montreal, and it’s designed as a “an interactive light and sound experience.”

“It consists of large seesaws whose light intensity and musical tones change when set in motion by visitors,” Crystal City BID Events Manager Cassie Hurley wrote in an email. “This work creates an ephemeral and ever-changing field as the public plays with this urban instrument. Impulse embodies ideas of serialism, repetition, and variation to produce zones of intensity and calm.”

Hurley added that the BID has been working with LCOR recently to make the parking lot a bit more inviting, dubbing it “The Grounds,” with plans to sketch out a full “lineup of new arts and events programming” for the area next year.

“The Crystal City BID is always looking for unique ways to enliven spaces, engage residents and welcome visitors to our community, which makes Impulse an ideal choice for our latest art installation,” BID Executive Director Tracy Gabriel wrote in a statement. “The exhibit energizes the area between Crystal City and Pentagon City, connecting the neighborhoods with light, sound, and excitement, and its whimsical seesaws are a fun way for residents and visitors to socialize and enjoy the season.”

“The Grounds” sits in a section of the neighborhood set to see quite a few changes in the coming years, thanks to Amazon — the space is just across from the “PenPlace” development that the tech giant purchased for one of its new office buildings in the area, and is just a block away from the Metropolitan Park properties where the company will build more space.

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