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Swim with Marco Brambilla

I’m still bummed that I missed the first installation of Times Square Arts new series, After Hours, a few weeks back. (damn deadlines + freak thunderstorm kept me away grr). For the first event, a video installation by Marco Brambilla was projected onto the lobby pool at the Grace Hotel. How cool are these photos? I hope I’m still invited to the rest of the series, despite standing them up for the first…

Marco Brambilla Installation_Photo by Ka-Man Tse (2) Marco Brambilla Installation_Photo by Ka-Man Tse (3) Marco Brambilla Installation_Photo by Ka-Man Tse (4) Marco Brambilla Installation_Photo by Ka-Man Tse

Program is a New Collaboration between Times Square Arts and The Clocktower Gallery

(NEW YORK, April 4, 2013) —Times Square Arts, the public arts program of the Times Square Alliance, is collaborating with the Clocktower Gallery, the legendary alternative art space, on After Hours, a new series that will bring experimental, multimedia programming to select distinctive venues around Times Square on a monthly basis this spring. The first After Hours will take place on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 and will feature a video by Marco Brambilla projected onto a swimming pool into the Grace Hotel lobby. The program is curated by Alanna Heiss, Clocktower Gallery Director, and Joe Ahearn, Clocktower Gallery Curator of Performance and Installation, with the support of the Clocktower Gallery curatorial, production, and radio team.

 

Times Square’s high profile and iconic status informs the public image of New York City. Its billboards and Broadway performances are societal benchmarks – setting, and breaking, the norms of popular culture. So too has the public art in Times Square, dating back at least to the 1980 landmark exhibition Times Square Show, a collection of experimental music, performance, and video work organized by the artist group Collaborative Projects, Inc.

 

Sherry Dobbin, Director of Public Art for the Times Square Alliance, says: After Hours is the newest iteration of this kind of creative, underground, culture-shaping event to come to the Crossroads of the World. By converting our neighborhood’s spaces into mini-galleries and show places, we are   reaffirming Times Square’s position in the artistic vanguard.”

 

The first After Hours on April 10 will take place at the Grace Hotel (125 W. 45th Street) from 9:30 to 11:30 p.m. and will feature an immersive installation by MarcoBrambilla, a New York-based video collage and installation artist known for his elaborate recontextualizations of popular and found imagery. His new site-specific installation, titled Materialize/De-materialize, is a video work projected on the surface of the of the lobby swimming pool. Brambilla focuses on the transitional aspect of the Times Square location, through which millions of people from around the globe pass every year.

 

Brambilla uses video samples from the “Transporter room” effect from the original Star Trek television series, where the characters were “De-materialized” then teleported through space and “Re-materialized” at their destination. Groupings of hundreds of characters are introduced using this effect, each edited into a motion loop where they are never fully revealed, and always appear on the verge of departure or arrival, trapped in a perpetual state of transition. To produce this work, Brambilla sampled each instance where this effect appears in the 27 episodes of the original Star Trek television series (1966-69), then removed each character from the original background, leaving only the outline of the person appearing and disappearing in a shimmering curtain of floating sparkle. The characters appear grouped into discrete rings on a black field; they gradually grow in size and multiply endlessly before dissipating back into the black field. Characters seem to migrate from ring to ring randomly forever trapped in this constantly regenerating moment of flux.

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