Times Square at Broadway Plaza, between 46th and 47th Streets
To be unveiled July 11 are two new Mel Chin artworks in Times Square, a co-presentation by No Longer Empty, Times Square Arts, and the Queens Museum as part of Mel Chin: All Over the Place.
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Commissioned by Times Square Arts, Wake is a 24-foot-tall installation that evokes the hull of a shipwreck crossed with the skeletal remains of a marine mammal. The structure is linked with a carved, 21-foot tall animatronic female sculpture, accurately derived from a figurehead of the opera star Jenny Lind, that was once mounted on the 19th Century clipper ship, the USS Nightingale.
The physical construction of Wake is underway at the University of North Carolina at Asheville’s STEAM Studio, and is a collaboration between the Engineering and Art & Art History, and Drama Departments with assistance from faculty, staff, other students, and community members, all under the direction of Mel Chin Studio.
The artwork calls forth both the city’s triumphs and the complicated layers of its past. New York City has become a center of trade, commerce, finance, entertainment, and tourism, but also has a complex history that included the shipping (by the USS Nightingale, among others) of guns and slaves, that augmented this burgeoning city’s economy. The expanding past economies are prologue to our current environmental dilemma.
Look up at the sky through your phone for Unmoored: an ambitious 21st Century mixed-reality public art project that explores a potential future where global warming has gone unchecked.
Through mixed reality, guests will experience an unprecedented phenomena in the heart of Times Square. Developed in collaboration with Microsoft, Unmoored allows guests to explore this surrealistic spectacle, creating an experience that blends the physical world with the digital world.
With Wake and Unmoored, Chin hopes to spark deeper personal investigations through digital devices, and provoke an enlightened stewardship of human actions in relation to global warming realities.
Times Square Arts’ presentation of Wake and Unmoored is supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Unmoored has been developed in collaboration with Microsoft. Additional thanks to Unmoored producers Listen for their support.