New York, NYSeptember 16, 2015Times Square Arts announced today the artists that will participate in their Residency at the Crossroads program for Fall 2015 and Winter 2015-2016. This fall’s residency by writer, performer and choreographer Okwui Okpokwasili, in partnership with New York Foundation for the Arts, will explore the potential of creating one song from the disparate collection of voices that converge on Times Square. During the Winter of 2015-2016, as part of a six-month partnership with Eyebeam, composer Kenneth Kirschner & visualist and software designer Joshue Ott will develop a smartphone app that transforms the way that one sees and hears Times Square and other urban places.

The Residency at the Crossroads program’s focus is to bring artists back to Times Square at the earliest point in creating new work for urban centers and use this iconic place as a laboratory for uncovering how users of public places behave and identify with an area. The artists’ subsequent discoveries, in turn, provide the Alliance with qualitative research to use in developing future programming for Times Square, New York’s town square.

Each residency is three-months and allows NYC-based artists time for reflection, exploration and experimentation in artistic spaces that are usually available only on the day of a performance or installation. The results may take shape as interventions, performances, events, published findings or project proposals. Artist R. Luke DuBois is currently finishing the inaugural residency by creating a video portrait based upon self-generated imagery from social media engagement, staged interventions and usage of EarthCam footage on the 24-hour cameras that share Times Square with the globe.

During the Fall of 2015, Okwui Okpokwasili will work with Peter Born to engage with visitors in Times Square, capture their voices and create a song at the Crossroads of the World, questioning whether the neighborhood can serve as a global commons for creative dialogue and exchange. By asking people to tell her what they’ve always wanted to share with the world, Okpokwasili will explore whether a common cry, idea or desire emerges from their comments. Her residency will run from mid-September to mid-December 2015.

During the Winter 2015-2016, a collaborative project by visualist/software designer Joshue Ott and composer Kenneth Kirschner will involve researching and developing mobile technologies for visual and sound art to create a free, publicly available smartphone app. The app will be designed to respond to and interact with the specific audiovisual, informational and physical environment of Times Square. The results may create a device that allows one to quickly revise and rehear an environment that seems too difficult to reimagine. Their residency will run from January - March 2016 and begins in the Fall as the artists work with the Eyebeam team on initial technology development.

Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, said, “Now more than ever, it is necessary for us to test how people perceive Times Square - where some see obstacles to be tackled, others see assets to be activated. Artists have a long history in Times Square and have always been instrumental in redefining this conversation at crucial points in our history.”

Sherry Dobbin, Times Square Arts Director, said, “With each residency, we have sought partnerships that attract artists with different methodologies. By nature of coming from different genres -- performance, visual arts, or conceptual arts -- the artists’ processes for experimenting with Times Square will be different. The panel responded positively to the risks of both of these proposals. Each investigates questions the artists are not sure they can answer and associates different values as being central to Times Square.”

Fall 2015 Artist Okwui Okpokwasili said, “Times Square really frightens me, I always feel pulled, pushed and pumped there, I feel like I’ve fallen into deep water and I can’t swim—It fills me with a kind of delicious dread to see if a multitude of people will communicate an essential message to me and how I might compose that into a song to be shared.”

Winter 2015-2106 Artists Kenneth Kirschnner and Joshue Ott, said, “We’re very excited to begin working with Times Square Arts, and continue working with Eyebeam, as part of this new residency program. Times Square offers some of the richest and densest audiovisual inputs on the planet, and we can’t wait to see what the output will look like.”

Michael L. Royce, Executive Director of the New York Foundation for the Arts, said, “It has been a rewarding pleasure to work with Times Square Arts on their inaugural Residency at the Crossroads program. We’re thrilled that NYFA Fellow Okwui Okpokwasili will have the opportunity to explore such an iconic public space over time and I’m looking forward to seeing her develop her own interpretation of this crossroads of cultures, voices and faces, so representative of New York itself.”

Roddy Schrock, Director of Eyebeam, said, "Eyebeam is delighted to be collaborating with Times Square Arts Alliance. This inaugural collaboration highlights Eyebeam's mission of supporting artists who work to engage communities with the potential of emerging technology. We are confident and excited to follow Kenneth Kirschner and Joshue Ott as they develop bold sound and vision works which utilize a fresh approach in creative digital practice, with Times Square as an exciting and large scale public platform for experimentation."

Individual applicants or small collaborative groups of artists based in New York City may apply for the 2015-16 Residency at the Crossroads. The residency is open to artists of all disciplines who are interested in working in the public realm, not just those who already consider themselves public artists. Eligible applicants include visual artists, writers, poets, architects, designers, musicians, filmmakers, composers and choreographers. Multi-disciplinary collaborators are encouraged; the selection process aims to represent the greatest diversity of applicants and art forms.

Times Square Arts Residency at the Crossroads is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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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 ArtPlace America and ArtWorks. Visit for more information. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @TSqArts.

Okwui Okpokwasili is a New York-based writer, performer and choreographer. In partnership with collaborator Peter Born, Okpokwasili creates multidisciplinary projects. Their first New York production, Pent-Up: A Revenge Dance premiered at Performance Space 122 and received a 2010 New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award for Outstanding Production; an immersive installation version was featured in the 2008 Prelude Festival. Their second collaboration, Bronx Gothic, won a 2014 New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award for Outstanding Production and continues to tour nationally and internationally. In June of 2014, they presented an installation entitled Bronx Gothic: The Oval as part of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s River to River Festival. Their current project in development is Poor People’s TV Room, an early iteration of which was presented by Lincoln Center in the David Rubinstein Atrium in June 2014.

As a performer, Okpokwasili frequently collaborates with award-winning director Ralph Lemon, including How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere?; Come home Charley Patton (for which she also won a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award); a duet performed at The Museum of Modern Art as part of On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century; and, most recently, Ralph Lemon’s Scaffold Room. She has appeared as an actor in many productions, including Nora Chipaumire’s Miriam; Julie Taymor’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Kristin Marting’s Sounding; Young Jean Lee’s LEAR; Richard Foreman’s Maria del Bosco; Richard Maxwell’s Cowboys and Indians; and Joan Dark (The Goodman Theater/The Linz European Capital of Culture). Film credits include Malorie’s Final Score, Knut Åsdam’s Abyss, The Interpreter, The Hoax and I Am Legend.

Okpokwasili‘s residencies and awards include The French American Cultural Exchange (2006-2007); Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography Choreographic Fellowship (2012); Baryshnikov Arts Center Artist-in-Residence (2013), NewYork Live Arts Studio Series (2013); Under Construction at the Park Avenue Armory (2013); New York Foundation for the Arts’ Fellowship in Choreography (2013); Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Extended Life Program (2014-15); The Foundation for Contemporary Arts’ artist grant in dance (2014), BRIClab (2015), Columbia University (2015), the Rauschenberg Residency (2015) and has been named the New York Live Arts Resident Commissioned Artist (2015).

Peter Born is a director, designer and filmmaker. In addition to his work with Okpokwasili, he is currently collaborating with David Thomson on a cycle of installation/performances revolving around a post-sexual incarnation of Venus, happening throughout 2015-16. He designed and created the set for Nora Chipaumire’s rite/riot, and he has created performance videos with Chipaumire, Thomson and Daria Fain among others. He works as an art director and prop stylist for video and photo projects with clients such as Vogue, Estee Lauder, Barney’s Co-op, Bloomingdales, Old Navy, “25” magazine, Northrup Grumman and The Wall Street Journal, with collaborators including Kanye West, Barnaby Roper, Santiago and Mauricio Sierra, Quentin Jones and NoStringsUS Puppet Productions. He is a former New York public high school teacher, an itinerant floral designer, corporate actor-facilitator and furniture designer. His collaborations with Okwui Okpokwasili have garnered two New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Awards.

Kenneth Kirschner is a composer of experimental music working at the intersection of avant-garde classical composition and contemporary electronic music. His work is characterized by a close integration of acoustic and electronic sound sources; a strong focus on harmony, pattern, and long-form development; and experimentation with techniques such as chance procedures, indeterminacy, and microtonality within a digital context. An advocate of open source practices, Kirschner releases all of his music freely online through his website, which represents a complete archive of all his published work from the 1980s to present. Recent projects include “Compressions & Rarefactions,” a nearly 7-hour album of recent compositions released on 12k Records, and “Imperfect Forms: The Music of Kenneth Kirschner,” a multimedia e-book from Berlin-based publisher Tokafi that includes essays, interviews, and artistic contributions from over two dozen journalists, musicians, and visual artists from around the world.

Joshue Ott is a visualist and software designer who creates cinematic visual improvisations that are performed live and projected in large scale. Working from hand-drawn forms manipulated in real time with superDraw, a software instrument of his own design, Ott composes evolving images that reside somewhere between minimalism, psychedelia, and Cagean chance. He has performed with the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall; with Son Lux at MASS MoCA; with Gina Gibney Dance at the Baryshnikov Arts Center; and frequently at venues throughout NYC, including Le Poisson Rouge and Roulette. Installation works include a large-scale audience interactive performance at the Harpa concert hall in Reykjavik, Iceland; a collaborative drawing system installed on the IAC Center's 120-foot-long video wall; and a collaborative drawing installation at the NASA Ames Research Center. Ott is also the visual mastermind behind the hit iOS apps Thicket, snowDrift, Falling Stars, and Pitch Painter.


For Times Square Arts:   

TJ Witham (212) 452-5234│     

Marisa Wayne (212) 843-9216 │