My next big beautiful public art piece! (please contribute!)

April 2, 2011 by Joshua
in Art, Creativity, Education, Entrepreneurship

My next big beautiful public art piece will be with my Parsons class in Union Square.

You can help make New York more beautiful, give people something to enjoy in their busy days, help students learn and build experience. Visit the project’s Kickstarter page and donate!

About this project:

We are 18 young talented art students and 2 professors in a class together at Parsons The New School of Design’s Art, Media, and Technology (AMT) program. We are raising money to build a big beautiful interactive public art installation in New York City’s Union Square.

Our goal is to create a dramatic new interactive digital motion-picture display unlike any the world has seen, entertaining and engaging to all New Yorkers for free, in the process learning and gaining real-world experience.

Our Class Journal:

What is it?

It’s art! A big beautiful dynamic interactive public installation in Union Square.

We are building in a medium called a linear zoetrope (Wikipedia on zoetropes) and we are building the largest digital one ever. Linear zoetropes are a unique medium that makes still images look animated to moving viewers (like people in Union Square). People love them when they see them — they bring their friends to show them, take pictures and videos of them, blog about them, … that sort of thing. Here’s a smaller one in Bryant Park:

The medium is expressive. It lets us as artists intrigue, fascinate, entertain, and otherwise express ourselves to people walking past these displays.

Union Square is a perfect location. We have secured a site with plenty of foot traffic. We are designing the display and contents to appeal to as broad an audience as lower Manhattan provides to brighten the days of ordinary New Yorkers, commuters, tourists, visitors, families, students, etc.

What is the project about?

The project is about two main things: our learning and giving to New York City.

Our course is what Parsons calls a collaboration studio (Collabs). Collabs are designed for students to collaborate with each other and with people in the real world. Our final project is to design and build the display, create the animations that go in it, work out the logistics of installation, install it, and do everything that goes into making a major public art piece happen. It’s a lot and it’s big and that’s why we’re doing it.

Viewers love these displays, which means our display will engage and delight New Yorkers — giving them something to help them enjoy their busy days, like the family looking at this digital linear zoetrope in Bryant Park ( Since our display will be public and free for all to see (and big) many people will see and enjoy it.

Why do we need money?

We have been building traditional and linear zoetropes all semester, learning to make them more precise, finding what animations to go in them, learning how to make them more attractive, and exploring how to express ourselves more with them.

We have also been figuring out how to make them on a student budget. So far, so good, but none has been digital so far. Digital enables us to change the images on the fly so all 20 of us can express ourselves with unique animations. Digital enables it to be brighter. Digital enables future students to work with the display we create.

Digital also requires high resolution monitors, computers, custom physical boxes to hold all that, lenses for the optics, and a few other components. We are prepared to cut out anything unnecessary to make the budget, though if we surpass our threshold, we have a few components to include to make the display more complete and beautiful.

In summary

As we said above, our goal is to create a dramatic new interactive digital motion-picture display unlike any the world has seen, entertaining and engaging to all New Yorkers for free — young and old alike — in the process learning and gaining valuable real-world experience.

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2 responses on “My next big beautiful public art piece! (please contribute!)

  1. Pingback: » Donations begun. You can be next! Joshua Spodek

  2. Pingback: » Another donation — over 5% there! Joshua Spodek

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