Peggy Ahwesh’s City Thermogram Will Visualize the Boundless Energy of the Human Body as the April Midnight Moment, Part of Moving Image Art Fair
April 1-30, 2015
Every night from 11:57 pm – midnight
(New York, N.Y.) March 5, 2015 — Artist Peggy Ahwesh’s City Thermogram, a portrait of the urban everyday through the lens of a heat-sensitive camera, will warm up Times Square’s signage from 11:57 pm to midnight each night in April. This project is a part of Midnight Moment, a monthly presentation by The Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) and Times Square Arts. For April’s Midnight Moment, TSAC and Times Square Arts have partnered with Moving Image, a video, film, and new media art fair that will take place March 5-8, 2015, at the Waterfront Tunnel event space in Chelsea. City Thermogram was shot with a thermal camera from Princeton’s MIRTHE Lab, funded by the National Science Foundation.
Using this innovative, heat-sensitive camera, the piece recasts our ‘photographic’ world into one of unexpected revelations about our bodies, energy sources and personal devices. While this technology is usually used for scientific purposes, in Ahwesh’s hands the camera reveals the dynamism of the human body and offers a heat-based visualization of the electrical power grid that we all operate within.
Artist Peggy Ahwesh said, “Shooting city views with a heat sensitive camera, I wandered with no particular goal, only amazement at the heat seeking bodies around me – people unaware of their energy potential – and the glow of the heat generating systems and devices we rely on – the cell phone, electrical power grid, the computer, steam as it rises from underground and hot summer streets.”
Edward Winkleman and Murat Orozobekov, Co-Founders of Moving Image Fair, said, “We are delighted with how this collaboration has worked out so well for everyone involved. From the insightful feedback from the TSAC and Times Square Art teams, to the enthusiasm from the participating artists and galleries, to the pure joy of seeing how people respond to these artworks in Times Square, we couldn’t have imagined a more productive partnership for Moving Image. We cannot wait to see this year’s selection, Peggy Ahwesh’s terrific “City Thermogram,” go up on the jumbo screens. We cannot thanks The Times Square Advertising Coalition and Times Square Arts enough for their generous support of video artists.”
Sherry Dobbin, Times Square Arts Director, said, “The signs become enormous energy x-rays of the life-blood of Times Square. Ahwesh’s heat-sealing technology inverts our preconceptions of dynamism in Times Square and reveals the incredible energy sources that exist within each individual entering the space.”
Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, said, “With hundreds of thousands of daily employees, residents and visitors contributing to the tumble and tide of the neighborhood, Times Square is the ideal location to demonstrate the internal power and energy unleashed into the public realm by the human body each day.”
Harry Coghlan, Chairman of the Times Square Advertising Coalition, said “The high-tech digital screens in the Crossroads of the World are the perfect platform to display a piece using cutting-edge scientific technology.”
Fred Rosenberg, President of the Times Square Advertising Coalition, said, “We’re excited to showcase April’s Midnight Moment content that reflects the human energy on the bustling streets below.”
The following digital screens are participating in the April Midnight Moment:
ABC Super Sign, American Eagle Times Square, Bank of America, Branded Cities 7 Times Square, 1 Times Square, Branded Cities NASDAQ Tower Times Square, Branded Cities Thomson Reuters, Outfront Media 1515 Broadway/ Viacom North & South, CEMUSA, City Outdoor, Clear Channel Spectacolor HD127/CNN, Clear Channel Spectacolor HD128, Superior Digital Displays Three Times Square #5
About Midnight Moment
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 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 of the Times Square Alliance, with additional partners of participating sign holders and artists.
Each night, Times Square becomes a digital art gallery through dazzling visuals on select billboards and newsstands. Every show begins at 11:57 p.m. with a “countdown” that signals the start of the three minute nightly presentation. Past artists featured in the program include Marco Brambilla, Rafaël Rozendaal, Sebastian Errazuriz, Charles Atlas and Antony, Noah Hutton, Ryoji Ikeda, Daniel Canogar, Alfredo Jaar; Isaac Julien; 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; Zach Nader; Brian Gonzalez (aka Taxiplasm); Björk; JR; Ryan McGinley; Jack Goldstein; Nature Theater of Oklahoma; Ezra Wube; Laleh Khorramian; Brian Dailey; Leslie Thornton; and Yoko Ono. For more information on past projects, please visit http://www.timessquarenyc.org/times-square-arts/projects/midnight-moment/index.aspx.
Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) is a trade association comprised of major advertisers, retailers, real estate firms, media companies and other businesses involved in the outdoor sign industry in Times Square, along with organizations representing Broadway and the community. Members of TSAC include: ABC Regional Sports & Entertainment Sales, Clear Channel Spectacolor, Daktronics, D3 LED, Digital Domination, Hines Management, Jamestown One Times Square, Lamar Advertising Company, Landmark Sign & Electric, Metro Media Technologies, Newmark Knight Frank, North Shore Neon, P.R.omotion!, Sherwood Outdoor, SL Green, Times Square Alliance, The WOW Factor and Thomson Reuters. www.timessquareadcoalition.org. Follow TSAC on twitter at @TSACNYC.
Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance, collaborates with contemporary artists and cultural institutions to experiment and engage with one of the world’s most iconic urban places. Through the Square’s electronic billboards, public plazas, vacant areas and popular venues, and the Alliance’s own online landscape, Times Square Arts invites leading contemporary creators to help the public see Times Square in new ways. Times Square has always been a place of risk, innovation and creativity, and the Arts Program ensures these qualities remain central to the district’s unique identity. Generous support of Times Square Arts is provided by the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Visit http://www.timessquarenyc.org/times-square-arts/index.aspx for more information. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @TSqArts.
Peggy Ahwesh is a media artist who got her start in the 1970’s with Super 8 filmmaking. Ahwesh’s work creates a kind of renegade ‘ethnography of the everyday,’ approaching culturally complex issues with disarming simplicity and with risk-taking vulnerability. Her work has exhibited worldwide including at the New Museum, New York, NY; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; The Tate Modern, London, UK; Guggenheim Museum, Bilboa, Spain and her films featured at the Whitney Biennial, NY (5 editions); “The American Century”, Whitney Museum, NY; and at “WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution” 2008, MoMA P.S.1, Queens, NY. Her works are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, the Library of Congress, among others. She has received grants and awards including from the Jerome Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, Creative Capital, NYSC and the Alpert Award in the Arts. Peggy Ahwesh was born in Pittsburgh, PA and currently lives and works between Brooklyn, NY and the Catskills. She is represented by Microscope Gallery, New York.
Moving Image was conceived to offer a viewing experience with the excitement and vitality of a fair, while allowing moving image-based artworks to be understood and appreciated on their own terms. Participation is by invitation only. The newly formed Moving Image Curatorial Advisory Committee for New York 2015 is inviting a selection of international commercial galleries and non-profit institutions to present single-channel videos, single-channel projections, video sculptures, and other larger video installations.