illuminous: interactive projection mural


Renowned muralist Peeta and Alt Ethos collaborated on this permanent multimedia installation that challenges viewers' perspectives and shifts perception as time passes. By day, Peeta's vibrant imagination is on full display in a mural that creates the illusion of a 3-dimensional sculpture in two dimensions.

But as the sun goes down and shadows lengthen, a digital overlay by Alt Ethos brings the installation to life. The projection mapping technology picks up on the movements and gestures of passers-by who may at first not know what is happening, but realize soon enough that they can intentionally set off new patterns and movement of light through movement. The interactive lighting transforms the trompe l'oeil 3D effects of Peeta's mural into a kinetic canvas in which a player might set off fantastical scenes of gentle tides, shifting sunsets, dancing fire, or translucent haze. The interplay of paint, light, and the movement of people through the cobbled pedestrian alleyway unites the new creative possibilities of the digital age with evocations of natural landscapes and vistas that have been part of the human experience since the beginning of time.

This collaborative project took one year to complete from discussion to implementation and was commissioned by the Fort Collins Downtown Development Authority in an effort to promote pedestrian usage of their alleyways.


The Fort Collins Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is redesigning the alleyways in historic Old Town with a view to increasing foot traffic and the amount and quality of time visitors spend throughout the DDA's district. The ultimate goal is to invigorate the economic, social and environmental vibrancy of a historic part of town that only a few decades ago was struggling to compete with the new malls springing up a mile or two to the south. Through the work of the DDA and others, Old Town is now a magnet for both locals and tourists, but not everyone has reaped the benefits. The alleyway where the mural was installed is one of several within a maze of roads and passageways created by 19th century town planners, and the restaurants and bars that it connects to today are hard-pressed to attract the kinds of crowds that routinely gather in their hundreds a block or two away in Old Town Square. The mural is now a draw for repeat visitors, media coverage and tourism promos and is attracting new patrons to multiple bars and restaurants, some of whom have patios with direct views of the mural.


Fort Collins Downtown Development Association
321 Old Firehouse Alley
Fort Collins, CO 80524

Sunday - Saturday, Hours: Dusk - 2:00 AM
Date Opened: November 5, 2018