WE MAKE NEW YORK // Public Art
We Make New York joins both the macro level street view of the metropolis with the words of notable New Yorkers or admirers of New York, to illustrate the forces that come together to make NYC. Not only the identifiable networks of streets and avenues, nor just the individuals that inhabit the city, New York exists when the structure and the people come together to generate an organism that in turn generates and regenerates itself. It is easy to argue that the built environment makes the urban fabric, but equally easy to argue that the people do, and we hope to unite the distant and up-close to let New Yorkers see, and literally reflect on, themselves as essential parts of an ever-evolving metropolis.
This proposed design has two main components- (1) cropped street systems taken from all five boroughs and (2) short quotes about the city of New York from individuals across many professions, ethnicities, neighborhoods, languages, and backgrounds. This artwork takes abstract parts in plan view of NYC’s streets, and illustrates these neighborhood segments in reflective mylar on solid colored vinyl banners. The design is lightweight, durable, and easy to execute. Additionally, interspersed between these street plans will be quotes by New Yorkers or admirers of New York, that speak to the humor, drama, madness, and joy of the city.
The subtle but impactful poetry of this large scale artwork comes through with the reflective materiality of the piece- New Yorkers and visitors alike will see themselves reflected in the words and streets of the great city they love. Instead of solid type, or static artworks that stay the same from moment to moment, these artworks are constantly being transformed by the visitor stopping in front of them, or the businessperson walking by.
The simple act of viewing changes the text and changes the streets, because the reflection is no longer the same as it was a second ago. In this way, the project builds upon the already existing materials and assets New York has to offer, and includes the momentary influence of any and all passerby, however brief. This momentary exchange between static and kinetic, temporal and permanent, underscores the changeability of New York, but gently reminds us that New York endures through each of its unending iterations.
Design Lead: Wendy W Fok
Project Manager: Evelyn Tilney
Consultant: Jung Ahn, Jenny Chow
CLIENT: Times Square Arts NYC Dept of Design + Construction Public Art Program of the Times Square Alliance
SPONSORED BY: Time Square Transformation Time Square Alliance New York Department of Design and Construction
JURY: The jury included: Barry Bergdoll, The Philip Johnson Curator of Architecture and Design, MOMA; Sherry Dobbin, Director of Public Art, Times Square Arts; Tom Finkelpearl, Executive Director of Queens Museum of Art; Wendy Feuer, Director of Urban Design & Art, Department of Transportation; Ellen Goldstein, VP of Policy, Planning and Design, Times Square Alliance; Kate Howe, Head of Graphic Design, NYC Dept. of Design and Construction; Victoria Milne, Director of Creative Services, NYC Dept. of Design and Construction; Sara Reisman, Director of Percent for Art, Department of Cultural Affairs; Jennifer Lantzas, Public Art Coordinator, Department of Parks, City of New York; and Willy Wong, President of AIGA NYC and Creative Director for NYC & Co.
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