The Midnight Moment, the nightly synchronized program on the digital screens presented by the Times Square Advertising Coalition and Times Square Arts, celebrates its first anniversary by turning the Crossroads of the World into a creative hub featuring a specially created film for the screens of artist JR’s large-scale participatory INSIDE OUT PROJECT. This short film is a mashup of INSIDE OUT’s global art actions and uses footage from the documentary film, INSIDE OUT: THE PEOPLE’S ART PROJECT, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 20th. The three-minute film specially made for the Times Square screens will be shown nightly at 11:57 pm throughout the month of May, coinciding for ten days with INSIDE OUT NEW YORK CITY, the current installation of JR’s large-scale participatory project featuring the creation of self-portrait posters of visitors to New York and the pasting of these images onto Duffy Square. This Midnight Moment is JR’s first electronic pasting.
Alan High, Chairman of the Times Square Advertising Coalition and President & General Manager of Clear Channel Outdoor Spectacolor & Mall Divisions, said: “In May, we will celebrate a year of great “moments” on TSAC’s digital screens with a unique art installation that engages our audience like never before, proving anew that there is no place on earth like Times Square to be part of something exciting in advertising, art and creativity.”
Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, said: “This is our one year anniversary for the Midnight Moment and we are celebrating it in conjunction with an ambitious participatory arts project that is taking place on Duffy Square. We embrace the past of the analogue image on the ground and the present of digital images on the signs around us - each displaying the simplicity of a human face. The collection of portraits surrounding us on the ground and in the air reminds us of the importance of individual diversity that makes up our Crossroads of the World.”
JR, the artist behind the project, added, “This is the first INSIDE OUT electronic pasting—the first time that people’s images are seen on electronic billboards. This project has taken place across the globe—paper and glue meeting all types of surfaces. But this is the first time the digital images are ‘pasted’ on the electronic billboards, while at the same time we paste on the ground of Duffy Square. We are able to share the global project through our film that just premiered at Tribeca and that will be broadcast on HBO, but this Midnight Moment will reach more people who did not know to watch. This really turns the world Inside Out and is a glowing testament to the power of image and the role that art can play in transforming lives.”
The artist has realized projects across the world in many different cities, including favelas in Brazil, trains in Kenya, walls in the West Bank, and most recently in Berlin. INSIDE OUT NEW YORK CITY engages all five boroughs of New York as the photo booth truck made early visits to the Bronx, Staten Island, Queens, and Brooklyn. The initial portraits pasted in Times Square featured community members from New York City neighborhoods affected by Hurricane Sandy—the Staten Island waterfront, the Rockaways, and Red Hook. The photo booth truck is open daily through May 10 from noon to 8p.m. in Duffy Square and portraits are free.
Midnight Moment is the largest coordinated effort in history by the sign operators in Times Square to display synchronized, cutting-edge creative content on electronic billboards and newspaper kiosks throughout Times Square every night. The program, formerly known as Times Square Moment: A Digital Gallery, premiered in May 2012 and is organized and supported by the Times Square Advertising Coalition in partnership with Times Square Arts, the public art program for the Times Square Alliance, with additional partners of participating sign holders and artists. Past artists featured in the program include Robert Wilson; Tracey Emin; Seoungho Cho; Vicki DaSilva, Surabhi Saraf, and Elly Cho; Erika Janunger; Takeshi Murata; Bel Borba with Burt Sun and André Costantini; Brian Gonzalez (aka Taxiplasm);Björk, and Yoko Ono. For more information on past projects, please visit www.TimesSquareNYC.org/MidnightMoment.
Each night, Times Square becomes a digital art gallery through dazzling visuals on select billboards and newsstands. Every show begins at 11:57pm with a “countdown” that signals the start of the three-minute nightly presentation. Content changes monthly; selected works are announced in the weeks preceding the start of a new show as are the exact signs participating in that month’s selection.
The following digital screens are participating in the May Midnight Moment: ABC Super Sign, American Eagle Times Square, Bank of America, CEMUSA, City Outdoor, Disney, JVC Screen, NASDAQ, Spectacolor HD129 / Times Square Museum & Visitor Center Marquee, ClearChannel HD128, Spectacolor HD127 / CNN Screen, Times Square Museum & Visitor Center, Viacom North & South (SL Green Realty) Thomson Reuters, and 7TS (7 Times Square).
Guidelines for artist and designer participation in future programs are located on the Times Square Web site.