The media giant, Viacom, is combining art and technology at their NYC Times Square headquarters. Besides their two main jumbotrons (Viacom and MTV), Viacom has transformed its lobby for the second time as a site for artists to create sensory exhibitions. Their first artist in early 2015, Rebecca Louise Law, hung thousands of flowers attached to wires above the main entrance. The piece allowed viewers to feel transported in the middle of winter as they experienced the aromatic transition of the flowers, from a thick floral smell to potpourri as they dried.
Rebecca Louise Law "Outside In"
Crystal Wagner’s current installation harnesses the excess of its exterior location, in the heart of Times Square, through the manipulation of just two types of material; chicken wire and party tablecloths. Wagner’s larger than life art creates an experience for the viewer as they walk down an otherwise ordinary hallway. The kitsch objects Wagner chooses to create her experience with can be related to Viacom’s own practices. As a cable and media network conglomerate, Viacom must face TV being viewed through traditional platforms is becoming an outdated experience and networks must find new ways to bring life into tv and especially its viewing process. Viacom’s strategy to feature artists whose creations are based on the merging of technology and art in the heart of the digital jungle that is Times Square is gaining notice amongst New Yorkers and tourists.
Viacom is leveraging its in house creative team and the power of digital video by creating amazing content for their artist series. Catalyst, Viacom’s creative agency has made multiple videos of the project, from go-pro timelapses to interviews with Wagner which give her art an added dimension as she explain her creative process, or lack thereof.
This expansive installation based art piece will be shown to the public not only in their offices but on digital screens both in the building and on the jumbotron in Times Square. Wagner’s physical installation will remain in the Viacom offices until the end of the summer.
Here are some videos created by Catalyst and images of Wagner’s installation piece: