Art Nerd New York | Los Angeles

September’s #MidnightMoment explores the nuances of hip hop

My favorite thing about Times Square- #MidnightMoment- has renewed itself once again. This month’s film that take over the ad screens every night from 11:57 to midnight is full of hip-hop bling and gesticulation. The Conductor (Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi), a mash up by Rashaad Newsome, takes a hint from hand motions from MCs to dictate the direction of sound. Later this month will be two special live events as well so stay tuned!


(New York, N.Y.) August 31, 2015—Rashaad Newsome brings his exploration of hip-hop’s unspoken gestural language, The Conductor (Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi), to Times Square’s electronic billboards from 11:57 pm to midnight each night in September. This project is a part of Midnight Moment, a monthly presentation by The Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) and Times Square Arts.

The Conductor (Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi) consists of footage capturing the hand gestures of top hip-hop MCs from over one hundred music videos. The footage has been digitally enhanced and re‐edited to track the motion of the artists’ hands. The audio is a composite of consistent sounds in recordings by artists deemed “Hip-Hop greats” in a 2005 survey conducted by local New York radio stations Hot 97 and 105.1. These sounds are then weaved in and out of Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana.”

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