Rashaad Newsome Examines the Crossroads of Hip-Hop and Video Art in Times Square for September’s Midnight Moment
September 1-30, 2015
Every night from 11:57 p.m.–midnight
Special live performances with accompanying freestyling MCs on September 22 and 28
(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.”
For two special nights – September 22 and 28 – there will be a filmed gathering with the artist and recording artists he considers the next generation of Hip-Hop.
Artist Rashaad Newsome, said: “In some ways this piece is a remix of “Carmina Burana”, widely considered to be the most epic choral piece to date. The remix is informed by whom New Yorkers consider the most epic MCs to date. So it must be shown in the most epic NYC site to date.”
Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, said, “Times Square has long been at the forefront of many forms of artistic expression in New York. Newsome brings the innovative crossroads of hip-hop and video art to the world’s Crossroads at Times Square.”
Sherry Dobbin, Times Square Arts Director, said, “Newsome is a rare artist who successfully traverses the art, music & fashion worlds to create a fresh perspective in contemporary art exhibition.”
Fred Rosenberg, President of the Times Square Advertising Coalition said, “The Conductor’s repeated gestures link the screens, demonstrating the power of Midnight Moment in Times Square.”
The following digital screens are participating in the September Midnight Moment:
ABC SuperSign, American Eagle Times Square, Bank of America, Branded Cities 7 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, Disney Store Spectacular, Sherwood Equities 1 Times Square, Superior Digital Displays Three Times Square #5, Superior Digital Displays Triple Play
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 Osgemeos; Eric Dyer; Richard Garet; Andy Warhol; Peggy Ahwesh; 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.
RASHAAD NEWSOME Rashaad Newsome earned his BFA from Tulane University in his native New Orleans, Louisiana before moving to New York to study film at Film Video Arts. Newsome has participated in the 2010 Whitney Biennial, Greater NY 2010, Performa 2011, and received the 2011 Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award.