Times Square Billboards to Redefine Barriers with BORDERS for 'Midnight Moment'
In partnership with Advertising Week, Times Square Arts presents artist Benjamin Lebovitz's Borders on Times Square's electronic billboards from 11:57 p.m. to midnight every night in September. This project is a part of Midnight Moment, a monthly presentation by The Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) and Times Square Arts.
Earlier this year, Times Square Arts and Advertising Week put out an open call for Midnight Moment proposals from artists working in the advertising industry. The winning submission was Borders, created by art director Benjamin Lebovitz. Using Google Earth satellite technology - a familiar medium after Lebovitz's work on projects for the company - Lebovitz depicts the world from above, displaying the international borders between countries like Nepal and China, the US and Mexico, Syria and Turkey, Israel and Jordan, and Kuwait and Iraq, along with The Remains of the Berlin Wall and landscapes of Glacier National Park. Borders seeks to understand the world in a more unbiased way, urging viewers to reinterpret these geological and political divides as delicate, shared ecosystems and make a personal connection with the social responsibility to humanity and the environment.
Ben Lebovitz, Artist, said "My hope for this work is that it might compel us to examine what our interpretation of a border is and how we might begin to understand ways in which we can develop future systems for sharing resources between countries. With satellite imagery we can at a breadth see how our shared land is utilized. (Especially as it pertains to harnessing and the consumption of energy, transportation, and sustainable food and water solutions)."
Mari Kim Novak, President of Advertising Week, said "Times Square has been home to Advertising Week since the beginning and is one of the most iconic, entertaining, and creative places in the world. It's incredible to celebrate the creative work of modern artists in this global hub that offers an unparalleled backdrop for engaging and cutting-edge content."
Debra Simon, Times Square Arts Director, said, "Times Square is known for surrounding visitors with the spectacle of cutting-edge advertising. This partnership with Advertising Week celebrates the creative talent of the advertising world, as Ben Lebovitz's Borders channels it into socially- and environmentally-conscious art."
Fred Rosenberg, President of the Times Square Advertising Coalition, said, "Borders redefines the meaning of a geographical barrier. The artist, Ben Lebovitz, explores the capabilities of Google Earth and brings those beautiful images of the world to the screens of Times Square."
Harry Coghlan, Chairman of the Times Square Advertising Coalition, said, "Ben Lebovitz cleverly uses Google Earth to access satellite and aerial imagery of different international borders, reminding us that the world is not so small after all. Borders reinforces that even countries separated by a barrier still share the same resources."
The following digital screens are participating in the September Midnight Moment:
ABC SuperSign, American Eagle Times Square, Bank of America, Branded Cities 7 Times Square, Branded Cities NASDAQ Tower Times Square, Branded Cities Thomson Reuters, CEMUSA, City Outdoor, Clear Channel Spectacolor HD127, Clear Channel Spectacolor HD128, Disney Store Spectacular, Microsoft Cube and Welcome Center Live Tiles, Morgan Stanley, Outfront Media 1515 Broadway/ Viacom North & South, SILVERCAST Digital Spectacular - Times Square, Superior Digital Displays Crossroads of the World, Triple Play on 7th Ave & The Waterfall on 42nd St.
Midnight Moment is the world's largest, longest-running digital art exhibition, synchronized on electronic billboards throughout Times Square nightly from 11:57pm to Midnight. Presented by the Times Square Advertising Coalition and curated by Times Square Arts since 2012, it has an estimated annual viewership of 2.5 million.
Past artists featured in the program include MSHR; Sun Xun; Alex Prager; Joshua Frankel; Naoko Tosa; Matteo Zamagni; Alex Da Corte; Pipilotti Rist; Tal Yarden; Emilio Perez; Tim Etchells; Elizabeth Peyton and Kristian Emdal; Jherek Bischoff; Beau Stanton; Saya Woolfalk; Jennifer Steinkamp; Soundwalk Collective; Lorna Mills; Peter Fischli and David Weiss; Laurie Anderson; Antony Nagelmann; Jesper Just; Shahzia Sikander; Rashaad Newsome; Osgemeos; Eric Dyer; Richard Garet; Andy Warhol; Peggy Ahwesh; Marco Brambilla; Rafaël Rozendaal; Sebastian Errazuriz; Charles Atlas and Antony; Noah Hutton; Ryoji Ikeda; Daniel Canogar; Alfredo Jaar; Isaac Julien; Robert Wilson; Tracey Emin; Seoungho Cho; Vicki DaSilva, Surabhi Saraf, and Elly Cho; Erika Janunger; Takeshi Murata; Bel Borba with Burt Sun and André Costantini; Zach Nader; BrIan Gonzalez (aka Taxiplasm); Björk; JR; Ryan McGinley; Jack Goldstein; Nature Theater of Oklahoma; Ezra Wube; Laleh Khorramian; Brian Dailey; Leslie Thornton; and Yoko Ono. For more information on past projects, go to www.timessquarenyc.org/times-square-arts/projects/midnight-moment/index.aspx.
Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) is a trade association comprised of major advertisers, retailers, real estate firms, media companies and other businesses involved in the outdoor sign industry in Times Square, along with organizations representing Broadway and the community. Members of TSAC include: ABC Regional Sports & Entertainment Sales, Clear Channel Spectacolor, Daktronics, D3 LED, Digital Domination, Hines Management, Jamestown One Times Square, Lamar Advertising Company, Landmark Sign & Electric, Metro Media Technologies, Newmark Knight Frank, North Shore Neon, P.R.omotion!, Sherwood Outdoor, SL Green, Times Square Alliance, The WOW Factor and Thomson Reuters. Visit www.timessquareadcoalition.org, or follow TSAC on twitter at @TSACNYC.
Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance, collaborates with contemporary artists and cultural institutions to experiment and engage with one of the world's most iconic urban places. Through the Square's electronic billboards, public plazas, vacant areas and popular venues, and the Alliance's own online landscape, Times Square Arts invites leading contemporary creators to help the public see Times Square in new ways. Times Square has always been a place of risk, innovation and creativity, and the Arts Program ensures these qualities remain central to the district's unique identity. Generous support of Times Square Arts is provided by the. New York State Council on the Arts, The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Visit www.timessquarenyc.org/times-square-arts/index.aspx for more information. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @TSqArts.
Benjamin Lebovitz is an American Art Director, born in 1987, and currently residing in Oakland California. Ben studied at the Savannah College of Art and Design with a degree in Advertising Design. He has worked on projects for Nike, Jordan, Levi's, Apple and Google. His most recent work focuses on social impact around human rights and environmental policy within the realm of interactive and experiential design.Visit www.benlebovitz.com, or follow on Instagram at @blebovitz & Twitter @benlebovitz.
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Image sources: Google Earth, DigitalGlobe