Digital Arts Program Inaugurated by @MTAArtsDesign

Maddie Cotterill

MTA Arts & Design today announced this week, the premiere of New York Minute by new media artist Gabriel Barcia-Colombo at the newly opened Fulton Center, marking the inauguration of Arts & Design’s new digital arts program.

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New York Minute (2014) © Gabriel Barcia-Colombo. Fulton Center. Commissioned by MTA Arts & Design

New York Minute is a large-scale 52-channel video installation on display through spring 2015 at the Fulton Center 2345ACJZ station complex and in its Dey Street pedestrian tunnel that connects to the R line.

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New York Minute (2014) © Gabriel Barcia-Colombo. Fulton Center. Commissioned by MTA Arts & Design

It is shown on 52 screens ranging from the 55-inch LCD screens that line the Dey Street concourse to LED walls, measuring 31.5 feet by 18.9 feet, on the street level.

Sandra Bloodworth, director of MTA Arts & Design told us “Fulton Center represents the future of the MTA, so we looked to technology that also would move Arts & Design into the future. A digital arts program gives us the opportunity to offer temporary art, to work with new digital artists and to produce art that engages our customers in a more immediate way,” .

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“Large-scale electronic displays like the one in Fulton Center open up a world of possibility for new media artists to connect with our customers, whether it’s through a piece that makes them pause and smile or inspires a thought that stays with them on their journey.”

Barcia-Colombo’s installation features portraits of New Yorkers doing everyday activities in super slow motion and shows what else happens amid the frenetic pace of life in New York. It highlights the comical and sometimes poignant street interactions that help make New York unique. Its title refers to the hectic pace of New Yorkers’ lives.

Through an arrangement with Westfield Properties, which manages Fulton Center on behalf of the MTA, all 52 videos air simultaneously for 30 seconds every 10 minutes, six times each hour. Viewers can watch a different sequence each time they walk past the installation space.

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Amy Hausmann, deputy director of MTA Arts & Design – who we last met at ourVideo Walls Unplugged event during #dse2014, Ed, told us “Our customers will recognize themselves in these videos because they do the same kind of things – dancing, laughing, playing, and embracing our children. This work creates a moment of bonding and sense of community that ties us to other people in the city,” said  “Gabe’s work reminds us that we’re not alone and that at any given moment in New York, there’s always something else going on too.”

Fulton Center opened today to the public with a celebration marking the revival of lower Manhattan. It serves as a major transit hub and focal point destined to be a gathering place and landmark for future generations of New Yorkers.

About the artist

Gabriel Barcia-Colombo is a new media artist whose work focuses on collections, memorialization and the act of leaving a digital imprint for the next generation. His work includes video sculptures, immersive performances, large scale projections and vending machines that sell human DNA. It plays upon the modern exigency in today’s culture to chronicle, preserve and wax nostalgic, an idea that Barcia-Colombo renders visually by “collecting” human portraits on video.

Barcia-Colombo is a New York Foundation for the Arts grant awardee and faculty member at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He serves as a member of the artist advisory board at the New York Foundation for the Arts, as well as an education committee member at the Museum of Art and Design. In 2014, he was awarded a senior TED fellowship.

About MTA Arts & Design

MTA Arts & Design, formerly known as MTA Arts for Transit & Urban Design, encourages the use of mass transit in the metropolitan New York area by providing visual and performing arts in the transit environment. In November 2014, Arts & Design launched the Digital Arts program that feature works of contemporary new media artists throughout MTA’s digital media network. The Percent for Art program is one of the largest and most diverse collections of site-specific public art in the world, with more than 300 works by world-famous, mid-career and emerging artists. Arts & Design produces photography installations as well as graphic arts and live musical performances in stations, and the Poetry in Motion program in collaboration with the Poetry Society of America. It serves more than 8 million people who ride MTA subways and commuter trains daily and strives to create meaningful connections between sites, neighborhoods, and people.

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