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Random International helps travellers catch last train from Chemnitz

Rain Room creators’ first permanent public installation animates German railway station

They delighted visitors in London, New York, Shanghai and Los Angeles with Rain Room, an immersive installation that allows visitors to walk through a downpour without getting wet.

Now the art collective Random International has created its first permanent public work. Starting on 10 October, the two façades of a new hall of the Chemnitz railway station in Germany will be illuminated with a monumental light work inspired by the way birds and insects form groups. Swarm Study / IX will light up every night from sundown until the last train has departed from the station. The new railway hall has been designed by Berlin-based Grüntuch Ernst Architects.

The high-tech installation, which is powered by a digital algorithm, will contrast with the city’s Socialist-era public art. From 1952 to 1990, Chemnitz was called Karl-Marx-Stadt and it boasts a 7m-tall bust of the Communist revolutionary. “There are a lot of Brecht quotations” around the city, too, says Hannes Koch, the co-founder of Random International. Last month Pace gallery opened the collective’s first solo show in New York (On the Body, until 21 October), and next year Random International is due to transform the gallery’s space in Menlo Park, California.