Artists at the Crossroads

R. Luke DuBois, Okwui Okpokwasili

New York Foundation for the Arts

Times Square Arts, the public art division of the Times Square Alliance, presented the first Residency Artist Talk, Artists At The Crossroads on February 1, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. at The TimesCenter, 242 West 41st Street, New York, NY 10036.

Kate Crawford, professor, author and founding member of Deep Lab, New York - a collaborative group of cyberfeminist researchers, artists, writers, engineers, and cultural producers - served as the moderator with artists, R. Luke DuBois and Okwui Okpokwasili, the first two Residency At The Crossroads artists. DuBois and Okpokwasili both discussed their own residencies over the past year. From their vastly different practices, each explored how the unique environment and culturally diverse audience intersects with the business improvement district infrastructure and stakeholder data to help them support their work in Times Square, the world's most iconic public space frequented by 215,000 - 420,000 people a day.

Artist R. Luke DuBois is Co-Director of Integrated Digital Media at NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering and the first Residency At The Crossroads Artist. During his residency, DuBois created a continuous video portrait of Times Square, relying on a matrix of webcams that already existed onsite, to create an accelerated video of 90 days’ worth of activity compressed into video art. As part of the piece, he worked with artists who performed simple, repetitive acts designed to be recognized within the accelerated video and contrast with the fast-paced bustle of Times Square all around them. More information about his residency can be found here.

During the Fall of 2015, Okwui Okpokwasili worked with Peter Born to engage with visitors in Times Square to capture their voices and create a song based on the idea that the Crossroads of the World can serve as a global commons, not only as a transactional hub for capital, but also a stage and a shared public space that is an open resource for creative dialogue and exchange. By asking people to tell her what they’ve always wanted to share with the world, she explored whether a common cry, idea or desire emerged. More information about this residency can be found here.