I’ve been repeatedly impressed by the quality of the public art projects shown at Madison Square Park. Some of my favorites have been Roxy Paine’s silver trees, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s illuminated heartbeats, and Antony Gormley’s figures in silent observance on surrounding buildings.
Another winner is on display now, Scattered Light by Jim Campbell. It’s a rectangular space on the central lawn that’s filled with over 1,600 hanging bulbs that act as pixels on a low resolution screen. When you first see it, the bulbs look like they’re randomly twinkling, but when you’re at the right distance and angle, you start to notice there’s a cohesion to way the lights move, and then you see shadowy figures moving across your field of vision. It really makes you pause.
I first saw Jim’s work at Miami Art Basel, in 2006 or 2007. I wasn’t really interested in video art, but the piece I saw, a light box with a shadowy street scene playing across it, immediately captured me. I knew he had the potential to be big, and I’m happy to see he’s doing well. Wish I could have afforded to buy the piece I saw then.
Some more information on Scattered Light here.