Magic Move 4
Artist and software designer Katherine Frazer creates layered and meditative works of digital art by subverting the presentation and productivity software she helped design. Synchronized across the screens of Times Square every midnight in March, Magic Move 4 features layers of self-portraiture and floral imagery, manipulated in presentation slides and sequenced through a default setting in Keynote called “Magic Move” to extend, cascade, rotate, and dance around the frame in a never ending loop.
“I was previously designing the constraints and limitations of these apps. Now, I am looking for ways to surprise myself, and use them to unintended ends. While they’re built for professional use, it’s heartening to think there are opportunities for play even in the most mundane of places. Tools are what you make of them.”
— Katherine Frazer
The source material in Magic Move 4 includes videos taken on the artist’s phone as well as images from Frazer’s Ikebana explorations, in which she takes 3D scans of fresh-cut floral arrangements, sometimes disrupting the scans to form deliberate glitches before layering and remaking them. Ikebana is a process-oriented style of Japanese floral arrangement based on iterative incremental shifts rather than a predetermined end result. The leisurely and meditative nature of Magic Move 4 and Frazer’s practice disrupts the fast-paced productivity of Times Square, privileging process over productivity.
A musical accompaniment to Magic Move 4 has been produced by Estle, an electronic music project created by the Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist Keegan Gomm. Created to capture the unfurling and elegant maximalism of Frazer’s work while simultaneously serving as a background ambient accompaniment, this musical piece is the embodiment of a slow and peaceful afternoon.
"My aim with the track was to capture the unfurling and elegant maximalism of Katherine's Magic Move 4 while still serving as a background ambient accompaniment. I titled the track 'Becoming Visible.' It is a slow peaceful afternoon and the silhouette of a loved one with the sun behind them."
ABOUT KATHERINE FRAZER
Artist Katherine Frazer draws on her experience as a software designer to subvert presentation software and productivity applications, such as Figma and Keynote, to create her digital paintings. Frazer’s work has been included in Rhizome’s Artbase and Museum of Crypto Art’s collection, featured in Codame Art and Tech Festival, Dazed Digital, Nylon Mag, and PAPER Magazine, with commissions for NewHive and MTV. She was invited to be one of the first fifty artists on NFT platform Foundation. Frazer graduated with degrees in Communication Design and Human-Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University. Frazer is based in Brooklyn, New York.
ABOUT PUBLIC WORKS ADMINISTRATION
PUBLIC WORKS ADMINISTRATION "PWA" is a digital art project space located in the 50th Street subway in Times Square. They spotlight underground artists who use digital tools to drive culture forward.
Estle is an electronic music project created by multidisciplinary artist Keegan Gomm. Based in Toronto, they’ve been active as Estle since 2020 with the self-release of their debut single Hope Clouds. The thesis of the project is to create sincere reflections of natural spaces and phenomena tied together with myth and new technologies. Through the lenses of noise, ambience, and composition for film, occasionally with pop and deconstructed club sensibilities their work is an effort in finding unity between tenderness and catharsis.
Midnight Moment is made possible by the Times Square Advertising Coalition, ABC SuperSign, American Eagle, Branded Cities, Clear Channel, Disney Store, Express, Levi's, LG, Luxottica Group S.p.A., Morgan Stanley, Microsoft, New Tradition, Sensory Interactive, Sephora, Sherwood Equities, Show + Tell, Silvercast, Swatch, T-Mobile, and JCDecaux.
Major support of Times Square Arts is provided by Morgan Stanley. Additional program support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature; and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Additional support for Midnight Moment is provided by Meta Open Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Times Square Advertising Coalition.
Photos by Michael Hull. Video by Tatyana Tenenbaum.