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Spectra-Txt

Public art by Peter Freeman

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Spectra-txt is a public sculpture by Peter Freeman, a 10 metre column of light made of a 1000 points of fibre-optic light in a mirrored stainless steel structure. 

The artist took inspiration from Captain Cook's scientific visit to Tahiti and the futuristic neon visions of blockbuster sci-fi epic Blade Runner directed by Sir Ridley Scott, who was inspired by Teesside's industrial landscape. 

Freeman imagined that the arrival of Cook's vessel in Tahiti must have appeared "completely alien", like the landing of a spaceship from another universe. He describes the look of Spectra-txt as resembling a 'star field' in the sky.

These ideas evolved and developed into the proposal to create a futuristic column of light at the centre of the town.

It was commissioned by Middlesbrough Council and completed in 2004.

When it was installed visitors could text 0779 8765 436 with blue, starvibe, XXX, pearl, boro or chromapop to change the colours on it.

It is now a convenient landmark to meet up at in the Town Centre as it sits amid Debenhams, House of Fraser, BHS and Miss Selfridge.