The Port Authority Bus Terminal is getting into the holiday spirit with the installation of an interactive video public art installation. Stretching 72 feet long, The Now - Holiday Special is entrancing people through January 19, 2019 from its perch on the windows of Coolture Impact at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Times Square.
The piece combines video art, animation, video mapping and interactivity by filmmakers and video artists Laia Cabrera and Isabelle Duverger with interactivity by NoirFlux and Karan Parik. Cabrera and Duverger most recently teamed up to present the immersive interactive installation Self on the Shelf at Spring/Break Art Show in March 2018 in New York.
In their current work, The Now - Holiday Special offers visitors the chance to journey into magical worlds, intertwining reality and fantasy, by opening doors to hidden places and participatory environments, all with a holiday Twist.
Channeling parallel realities through a cinematic voyage through visually striking realms, live painting and animated characters with evolving narratives work together to draw participants into the public artwork. People are encouraged move from screen to screen to unravel various storylines presented within in virtual reality-infused art work.
"The work is intended as to be as immersive and imaginative as possible, surrounded by all the flat screens of Times Square, and an attempt to contribute with public art in a over-saturated place of advertising," Cabrera and Duverger wrote about the piece. "In this peculiar place of transit, where people come and go in a rush, we wanted to create a piece that would allow them to stop, explore and travel to different magical, poetic and imaginary places, and while interacting with the piece, allow the audience to interact with each other, be in the present."
"We tried to allow new technology to be as accessible as possible," the women continued. "This installation is unique and was created specifically with a combination of complex technologies, but with the desire of making it as seamless and approachable to anyone who interacts with it."
In developing the work, the pair decided to make a direct connection with the Port Authority's role as a transportation hub and include direct references into The Now - Holiday Special.
"As we created the piece, we thought of where it was presented, and of course, being a transportation hub, we though of transporting people to imaginary world, opening doors of a Subway, an Electric Bus and a 1920’s train who wouldn't breath out smoke but butterflies, our personal winks to Climate Change and our concern about it," Cabrera and Duverger stated.
Similar to the artwork presented at Spring/Break Art Show, The Now: Holiday Special draws upon the expertise of artists in various fields to create the interactive immersive art work.
The artist creating The Now: Holiday Special is the award winning creative team of Laia Cabrera & Co, founded by Spanish filmmaker and video artist Laia Cabrera and French animator and projection mapping artist Isabelle Duverger. Searching for new ways of using the space and visual imaginary as a tool for narrative storytelling and audience connection, the pair directs their creativity into immersive interactive content experiences in contemporary artwork that incorporate scenographic and dramaturgical aspects into the experience.
The installation springs to live with interactivity made by Karan Parikh, an immersive experience developer, and Noriflux, a creative company co-founded by the interaction artists Lorne Covington and Bill Saiff. Through Noriflux, the pair creates responsive environments that infuse virtual reality techniques with the capacity for multi-person gestural interfaces that allow for participatory experiences which goes beyond what's typically possible in day-to-day life through technology.
The Now: Holiday Special is installed on the windows of Coolture Impact, an incubator, event planning, design production and communication firm that explores and exploits new technologies, art content and social interaction. Coolture Impact aims to create a new paradigm in storytelling, where digital art is activated by and exposed to a large audience.
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