sessile board members

Aron Sanchez-Baranda

In January, artist Aron Sanchez-Baranda brings the tactile splendor of the sea anemone to Times Square with sessile board members. A marine species affectionately referred to as the “flower of the sea”, these glistening, pulsing, vibrant-hued invertebrates are enlarged to monumental proportions every midnight in the new year.

Armed with a tide map and a mirrorless digital camera, Sanchez-Baranda has been documenting the creatures of the Californian coast with compulsive repetition for over decade. Waiting for the ocean’s ebb to reveal the anemone in their liminal, intertidal habitats, Sanchez-Baranda trains his lens on his subjects so closely that they become abstracted — allowing for a full sensory absorption that transcends biological classification and almost defies explanation. Manipulations with pacing and animation further direct our focus toward the subtle glacial and rhythmic movements of these mainly sedentary — sessile — lifeforms that preside over and feed upon their surroundings that are increasingly in environmental decline.

“Sea anemones are a constant in the marine environments in which I work. Their opportunistic and indiscriminate appetites are unflinching in the face of the ecological decline I've witnessed during more than a decade exploring the coast. They've become central to my art and inspiration — a soft, hungry, amorphous totem.”
— Aron Sanchez-Baranda


Aron Sanchez-Baranda documents wildlife and fungi found on the Californian coast. Expressed primarily in video and photography, his art explores sensory abstraction and unconscious response to natural forms. He has created works for musicians such as Arca and Kingston Family Singers as well as adverts for Apple computers. His recent solo exhibition, Membrana, was shown in Los Angeles and at the Venice Biennale in Italy.

Midnight Moment is made possible by the Times Square Advertising Coalition, ABC SuperSign, American Eagle, Branded Cities, Clear Channel, Coca-Cola, Disney Store, Diversified, Express, Heritage Outdoor Media, JCDecaux North America, Levi's, LG, Line Friends, McDonald's, Midtown Financial, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, New Tradition, Outfront, Sensory Interactive, Sephora, Sherwood Equities, Show + Tell, Silvercast, Swatch, TSX, and T-Mobile.

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 and the Times Square Advertising Coalition.

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