Tag Archive | Light Installation

Hive Light Installation at Bleecker Street Subway Station

Hive Subway Art
Hive Light Installation at Bleecker Street Station, Installed 2012. (All Photos By Gail)

While I am often traveling through the 6 Train station at Bleecker Street, I am almost never originating or concluding a ride at that stop. That is my excuse for taking four years to write about one of the coolest — if not the coolest – piece of art in the entire NYC subway system, which is called Hive (Bleecker Street).

Artist Leo Villareal created the LED art, currently installed at the Bleecker Street subway station, in 2012. Made of LED tubes, custom software, electrical hardware, aluminum and stainless steel, the LED sculpture takes the form of a honeycomb, above the stairs that mark the transfer point connecting the IRT and IND subway lines.

Hive Red

Bright colors, outlining each hexagonal honeycomb shape, move across the sculpture. Villareal created an unprecedented art experience for transit riders who use the station with the installations use of technology and LEDs. Hive (Bleecker Street) has a playful aspect in its reference to games. Riders will be able to identify individual elements within a larger context, and track this movement.

Hive Subway Art

The work explores the compulsion to recognize patterns and the brain’s hard-coded desire to understand and make meaning. The patterns also take inspiration from the research of the mathematician John Conway, who invented the Game of Life, the best-known cellular automata program. Hive (Bleecker Street) speaks to a diverse audience – it is abstract and evocative, and can have many different meanings.

Hive

Hive

Hive Subway Art

Through changing patterns presented in randomized progression, Hive creates an experience for riders . Overall, the piece resonates with the activity of the station, transportation network and the city itself. The work was fabricated by Parallel Development.

Hive Subway Art

The best photos of Hive (Bleecker Street) are taken from the stairs or escalator below the installation, but I was waiting for a train late at night and did not want to miss it, so took these photos and video from the platform. If I get better photos in the future, I will add them to this post!

Hive

 

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Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery Presents New Work By Jim Campbell

Jim Campbell New Works
All Photos By Gail

Art and Light —  they go together. We were very excited to visit Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery for its new exhibition of new work by Jim Campbell, which opened March 7th, 2014. The show focuses on the pioneering artist’s most recent series of sculptural light installations. Campbell is considered one of the leading artists working today in the field of new media and his work is both fun and fascinating.

Jim Campbell New Works

Jim Campbell New Works

Many of Campbell’s works are motion sensitive to the activity in the gallery, so the images displayed will change as visitors move around or in front of the pieces.

Jim Campbell New Works Ceiling

This one is suspended from the ceiling.

Jim Campbell New Works Wall Installation

The exhibition at Bryce Wolkowitz coincides with Jim Campbell’s first New York museum retrospective. Organized by the Museum of the Moving Image, Jim Campbell: Rhythms of Perception, on view from March 21 – June 15, 2014, spans three decades with an emphasis on his early experimental work. I will have to check that out.

Jim Campbell Singage

New Work By Jim Campbell will be on Exhibit Through April 19th, 2014 at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, Located at 505 W 24th Street, In the Chelsea Gallery District.

Must See Art: Yayoi Kusama’s I Who Have Arrived In Heaven At David Zwirner

Yayoi Kusama Manhattan Suicide Addict
Yayoi Kusama in a Scene from “Manhattan Suicide Addict” (All Photos By Gail)

According to gallery employees at David Zwirner, last Friday night’s opening of Yayoi Kusama’s I Who Have Arrived in Heaven wasn’t just a Reception: it was an Event, complete with a personal appearance by the 84-year old living legend. And yes, she reportedly wore the bright red wig! We are very sorry to have missed that, but we did make it to the much less crowded Zwirner gallery on Saturday to take in I Who Have Arrived in Heaven‘s sculptures, paintings, video installation and one of two mirrored rooms that made our heads explode. The comprehensive exhibit fills all three of Zwirner’s adjoining spaces on West 19th Street, where a feast for the eyes awaits you in every room. It is high-fives all around for Zwirner on their inaugural Kusama exhibit, and if this marks your first exposure to this artist’s heavily psychedelic creations, you are in for a huge treat.

Yayoi Kusama Pink Dotted Flower Shoes

Kusama’s trademark polka dots are evident on two very fun sculptures of flowers growing out of shoes, which are visible from 19th Street. These pieces reminded me of Minnie Mouse on acid. Each flower has a convex mirror at its center so that, if you can get close enough, you can put your face in the flower and trip out.

Yayoi Kusama Yellow Dotted Flower Shoes

Yayoi Kusama Painting

This exhibition features twenty-seven new large-scale paintings featuring vibrant colors and repetitious patterns. Most are highly detailed and very whimsical in nature.

Yayoi Kusama Painting

Yayoi Kusama Painting Blue and Orange Detail
Detail from Painting Above

Yayoi Kusama 3 Paintings

This shot above will give you an idea of the scale of these canvases. The images and details from this series of paintings reminded me of the artwork from the first Tom Tom Club album (and video for “Genius of Love”) and also from the hyper-violent cartoon series, Super Jail, of which I am a huge fan.

Yayoi Kusama Painting Eyes Detail
Eyes Detail from Painting

Yayoi Kusama Manhattan Suicide Addict

In yet another room, which is book-ended by 12-foot high infinity mirrors, there is a video installation of Yayoi performing her original song, “Manhattan Suicide Addict.” As Yayoi sings the song, which has very beautiful and poetic lyrics, an animated slide show of her selected artworks moves behind her. Geoffrey and I watched it four or five times. It was just insane.

As if all of the sculptures and paintings and videos were not enough to make you squeal, there are also two Infinity-Mirrored Room installations. Yes, I just typed that. Here is what it looks like inside one of them.

Yayoi Kusama Love Is Calling Installation

This installation is entitled Love Is Calling, and it is comprised of a darkened, mirrored room illuminated by inflatable, tentacle-like forms, which are covered in Kusama’s characteristic polka dots, that extend from floor to ceiling, gradually changing color. Very psychedelic! Simply put, I did not want to leave this room. Of course, there was a line to enter (I can’t even imagine what it was like on opening night)  but even though they only let about 6 or 7 people enter at one time, the line moves pretty fast,  and it is so totally worth the wait, so don’t get discouraged!

Yayoi Kusama Love Is Calling Installation

Sadly, a very packed afternoon agenda would not allow us enough wiggle room to wait in the hours-long line to experience the second room, which is the exhibition’s centerpiece,  Mirrored Infinity Room: The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away. This mirrored, cubed-shaped room features a shallow reflecting pool as its floor. Hundreds of multicolored LED lights are suspended at varying heights and they flicker on and off in a strobe-like effect, producing an intense illumination of the space and a repetitive pattern of reflections that suggest endlessness. WOW. I will be making a return trip to experience that head trip, for sure.

Yayoi Kusama’s I Who Have Arrived In Heaven will be on exhibit through December 21, 2013 at David Zwirner Galleries, Located at 519, 525 and 533 West 19th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District, New York.

Yayoi Kusama Exhibit Signage

Robert Montgomery at C24 Gallery

All Palaces
All Photos By Gail

To be honest, if a work of art also ‘lights up,’ I’m in. So it’s a bit appropriate that I was attracted into the C24 Gallery on a recent Saturday by the light emitting from London-based artist Robert Montgomery’s poetic, text-based installation works as seen from the sidewalk through gallery windows. Random!

The People You Love

The work of Robert Montgomery follows a tradition of conceptual text art that includes artists like Jenny Holzer (love her) and Lawrence Weiner. Montgomery’s work stands out by drawing from examples of public interventionist strategies and brings a poetic voice to the discourse of text art.

Slow Disappearance

The show’s Press Release continues that, “Essential to Montgomery’s work is the tradition of Modernist Concrete poetry, where the visual elements of words are as important in conveying the intended effect as the conventional elements of the poem, such as the meaning of words, rhythm, rhyme, etc.”

The Flood

For Montgomery’s first exhibit in New York, C24 Gallery is exhibiting texts from billboards that appeared on the streets of Berlin, London and Paris, along with major new light works. There is also one piece featuring a large scale billboard poem that was previously set on fire, and a film of the burning message is on view in the gallery, creating an engaging, yet passive performance piece. Very Fun!

Robert Montgomery will be exhibiting until October 26th, 2013 at C24 Gallery, Located at 514 West 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

James Turrell’s Aten Reign at the Guggenheim

James Turrell Aten Reign Violet
Aten Reign at the Guggenheim (Stealth Photos By Gail)

Any Blogger who’s ever tried to photograph an exhibit at The Guggenheim will tell you it’s no easy task: what with their strict “No Photography” rules coupled with the numerous Art Nazis (aka guards) strategically placed throughout the galleries. And that just blows; because, to me, if you can’t photograph the art, it’s like it never existed. That’s why I only managed to capture a few good shots of James Turrel’s epic light installation, Aten Reign, as it transformed the Guggenheim’s Rotunda from various shades of purple to numerous hues of blue on its way through the entire color spectrum. But these few photos probably serve as a sufficient teaser, because this is one of those exhibits that you have to experience in person to really “get.”

For Aten Reign, the entire rotunda has been re-imagined to serve as a canvas for this intensely site-specific work of art. All open space between the rotunda and the museum’s spiraling ramps has been sealed off with white scrim, which reflects the colored lights and creates a meditative, open-sky effect. Visitors can best experience Aten Reign either by sitting on provided seating along the walls of the rotunda’s ground floor, or actually laying flat in the center of the floor on provided mats — though this space seemed to be in fairly high-demand, and was not prone to frequent vacancies.

Aten Reign Blue and Purple

There are a few other, minimalist exhibits of Turrel’s light work along the ramps and in a few of the upper galleries, but trust me, Aten Reign is the money shot, so spend as much time as you can just enjoying it. Find out more about the exhibit and see a video of how they put this thing together at Guggenheim Dot Org.
Aten Reign Blue with Viewers

James Turrell At The Guggenheim (5th Avenue at 90th Street in NYC) Runs Only Through September 25, 2013, so don’t wait too long before planning your trip!

Must See Art: Voice Tunnel by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

Park Ave Tunnel Entrance
Geoffrey (Far Left) is Excited About Entering the Voice Tunnel (All Photos By Gail)

New York Art Fans and Urban Adventurists are running out of time to visit one of NYC’s most unique temporary art events, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Voice Tunnel, which takes place in the Park Avenue South Tunnel between 33rd and 40th Streets for just one more Saturday! Geoffrey and I stopped by this past Saturday and really enjoyed ourselves.

Voice Tunnel Lights
“Jam-Bah-Lai-Ya!”

Voice Tunnel is an interactive light and sound installation which transforms the 1,400 foot long Park Avenue Tunnel with 300 theatrical spotlights that produce glimmering arches of light along the tunnel’s walls and ceiling. Participants are able to influence the intensity of each light by speaking into a special intercom at the tunnel’s center which records their voice and loops it. Louder speech will increase the lights’ brightness proportionally, creating a Morse-like code of flashes throughout the tunnel. The individual voices will be heard as pedestrians walk through the tunnel, on 150 loudspeakers, one beside each light arch and synchronized with it.

At any given time, the tunnel will be illuminated by the voices of the past 90 participants: as new participants speak into the intercom, older recordings will get pushed away by one position down the array of light fixtures until they leave the tunnel, so that the content of the piece is changing constantly.

Voice Tunnel Lights 2

Please note that there are brief periods — though no more than few seconds each — of absolute darkness at regular intervals, so if you have a fear of darkness or a claustrophobia problem maybe this is not going to be for you. I found it exciting! If I couldn’t see well enough to walk forward, I just stood still for few seconds until the waves of light started up again.

P1000994

Here we are exiting the tunnel at Park Avenue South and East 40th Street, not far from the MET Life Building and Grand Central Station.

Admission is free, but you need to get your hand stamped for entrance and everyone entering Voice Tunnel has to sign a waiver granting tunnel operators the right to use your likeness in any publicity associated with the project, so if you’re wanted by the FEDs maybe you want to skip this one. Here are some other guidelines to keep in mind:

Voice Tunnel Rules

Voice Tunnel is open for one more Saturday only: August 17th, from 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Admission to Voice Tunnel is limited, so try to arrive early for a better chance of entry. It is recommended that participants arrive no later than 11:00 AM. DOT may close the line at its discretion. Enter the line at 32nd Street – exit at 33rd or 40th Street. No large bags, pets, bicycles, skateboards or roller skates. Strollers will be permitted. Bike valet is available at 32nd Street. When we visited, the line stretched up 32nd Street to Lexington Avenue and 34th Street, but our wait time was under 30 minutes. Sponsored by Summer Streets and the NYC DOT. Don’t Miss It!