Fulton Center Installation Mimics the Pace and Flow of NYC MTA Riders

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Dave Greber’s video installation “Skyyys™” depicts vibrant, digital abstractions created by using recognizable, colorful kinetic objects such as balloons, bouncing balls, stuffed animals, and more. “Skyyys™” playfully mimics the persistent activity and change that defines our material world and transit experiences. The digital artwork references the constant stream of visual information that we all experience daily, and in response, remixes this stream into an entertaining and witty new universe of familiar objects.

Nominating Company: MTA Arts & Design, New York, New York
Venue: Skyyys™, Chalfont, Pennsylvania
Project: Skyyys™ Fulton Center
Category: Transportation

BACKGROUND
Commissioned by MTA Arts & Design, this new iteration of Dave Greber’s “Skyyys™” creates an immersive digital environment within the Fulton Center Transit Hub. The fluid pace, whimsical imagery, and prismatic palette of “Skyyys™” produces harmonious visual music for pedestrians and commuters. Greber’s immersive 52-channel video installation can be seen for two minutes at the top of each hour in the Fulton Center complex and the Dey Street pedestrian tunnel that connects to 11 subway lines and the World Trade Center PATH station. Presented in this new format and site, Greber re-envisioned his digital content for “Skyyys™” to complement the pace of commuters at Fulton Center, a likewise kaleidoscopic space of transition from street to subway in the heart of a visually diverse New York City.

CHALLENGES
The digital display network in Fulton Center is composed of 52 screens on various levels throughout the multifaceted public space/transportation hub, ranging from the 55-inch LCD screens that line the passageway on the concourse level, to the massive LED walls on the street level, measuring 31.5 feet by 18.9 feet. The technological and aesthetic challenges for the artist to create artwork for each type of display and to make sure the art content was synced seamlessly were daunting, as was the coordination required to introduce art into a retail/transit complex with multiple stakeholders.

SOLUTIONS
Through an arrangement with Westfield Properties, which manages Fulton Center under an agreement with the MTA, with technical support from ANC Sports, the artwork is integrated as unique content that offers a moment of respite and contemplation from a constant rotation of advertisements. Premiered in July 2018, “Skyyys™” airs for two minutes at the top of each hour simultaneously on a large-scale 52-channel video installation in the Fulton Center that mimics the pace and flow of MTA riders as they move through the station.

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RESULTS
To date, Fulton Center houses the largest integrated digital signage network housed in a transportation hub in New York City, with nearly 66,000 square feet of retail space. MTA Arts & Design’s Digital Art Program celebrates this state-of-the- art architecture by commissioning visually stimulating work by new media artists that engages both the space and our customers in a more impactful way. The modern, airy public space of Fulton Center is enlivened by Dave Greber’s enigmatic and playful digital artwork. This combination elicits a feeling of curiosity and ageless wonder. Fulton Center has proven to be the launch pad from which the MTA Arts & Design Digital Art Program can grow throughout the MTA transportation network. Following the successful integration of digital artwork into this complex space, digital screens throughout the MTA system will feature elements of the program in coming years.

PROJECT PARTNERS
MTA Capital Construction
Westfield
ANC Sports

Skyyys™ Fulton Center won a DSE 2019 APEX Award in the Transportation category.

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