The Gamelatron Bunga Kota (Flower of the City) by Aaron Taylor Kuffner
June 6-30, 2013
785 Eighth Avenue (at 48th Street)
The Installation is Curated by The Clocktower Gallery
Presented in partnership with Times Square Arts and Massey Knakal Realty Services
(June 10, 2013, NEW YORK)—An urban sanctuary is coming to midtown this June: The Gamelatron Bunga Kota (Flower of the City), a site-specific artwork by Brooklyn-based conceptual artist, composer, and Indomusicologist Aaron Taylor Kuffner. The artwork provides visitors with physical and spiritual respite in the cacophony of Times Square. The installation draws upon Indonesia’s thousand-year-old Gamelan music tradition of bronze instrument ensembles and the emerging field of robotics to create magical, viscerally-powerful, site-specific performances. This version of The Gamelatron has been designed specifically for an empty store front space located at 785 Eighth Avenue (at 48th Street). The installation is on view from June 6 to 30 and will be open Tuesday-Friday, 2:00 to 8:00 p.m. It is curated by The Clocktower Gallery, and presented in partnership with Times Square Arts and Massey Knakal Realty Services.
Dylan Murphy, Director of Retail Leasing for Massey Knakal, said: “As the Times Square Retail Specialist at Massey Knakal, I am always looking for new and interesting ways to showcase my listings. At Icon, we have a building that is arguably the district’s most unique architectural achievement of the last decade towering 43 stories tall and only 23 feet wide. The retail space has soaring high ceilings and a dramatic presence that needs to be experienced in person. By collaborating with Times Square Arts and The Clocktower Gallery we have found a way to bring the community to Icon. Then, with the Gamelatron, Kuffner has transformed a raw retail shell into an urban oasis that immediately lifts the eyes, heart and mind of every person who walks through the door.”
As a site-specific contemporary artwork, The Gamelatron consists of kinetic sculptures that use specially tuned bronze instruments retrofitted with mechanical mallets on sculptural mounts to create an immersive sound installation. Compositions range from solitary reverberations of massive gongs and singing chimes to full ritual or storytelling orchestrations. Whether compositions are created live or pre-programmed, the instruments are masterfully tuned, as they have been for centuries, to impact the human body. The Gamelatron utilizes innovation to preserve and revive the legacy and culture of Gamelan for future generations.
Sherry Dobbin, Director of Public Art for the Times Square Alliance, said: “We are excited that Massey Knakal Realty Services were open to Kuffner’s participatory musical installation in their tall, thin space. As with the billboard of 701 Seventh Avenue with JR’s INSIDE OUT PROJECT or The Last Lot on 46th and Eight Avenue with Art Production Fund and Josephine Meckseper’s The Manhattan Oil Project, Times Square Arts is interested in how artists explore the entire district as their canvas or platform.”
Times Square Arts, the public arts program of the Times Square Alliance, presents leading contemporary art and performances in multiple forms and media to more than 400,000 daily visitors to New York City’s Times Square, making it one of the highest profile public arts programs in the United States. Since its inception, Times Square Arts has featured works by a diverse group of more than five dozen prominent and emerging artists. Working in partnership with cultural institutions and festivals, the program is further supported by Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Department of Cultural Affairs and partner institutions. Visit www.TimesSquareNYC.org/arts for more information.
The Clocktower Gallery & ARTonAIR.org
Founded in 1972, the Clocktower Gallery is a legendary alternative art space for exhibitions, performances, long-term and site-specific installations and artist residencies, dedicated to producing experimental, interdisciplinary, and intergenerational projects. The Gallery’s radio station, ARTonAIR.org, is a free and searchable online cultural audio archive with over 5,000 hours of non-commercial music, audio art, spoken word, cultural news, history and dialogue, and new media innovation. Together, the gallery and radio function as a laboratory for experimentation, working closely and collaboratively with artists to develop, realize and present innovative and challenging work in all media and disseminate it to communities both locally and around the world. www.ARTonAIR.org
About Massey Knakal:
Massey Knakal is a diversified real estate company, exclusively representing owners in the sale, retail lease and financing of their properties. With over 150 employees, four offices and thorough coverage of the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester County, Long Island and New Jersey, Massey Knakal dominates the New York metropolitan area's property transaction marketplace. For over two decades, Massey Knakal has focused on building strong relationships within the neighborhoods we represent and developing an extensive database of customers that includes all of the major investors, institutions, agencies and individuals that are active in real estate in the area. Our dedication to neighborhood knowledge and relationship building is a source of continuing pride and success for Massey Knakal, and through our Territory System™, our agents have partnered with owners throughout the city to close over 4,500 transactions, with an aggregate value in excess of $17 billion since 1988.http://www.masseyknakal.com
About the Artist
Aaron Taylor Kuffner is a Brooklyn-based conceptual artist, composer, Indomusicologist and architect of new media and intermedia performance. He specializes in creating multi-point sound environments and is the co-creator of the Gamelatron. For several years he studied under master teacher I Wayan Senen at the Institut Seni Indonesia di Yogyakarta and premier musician I Wayan Sadera in Tegas, Bali at the Yaysan Polosseni, performing with professional groups in Java and Bali. Since its debut in 2008, The Gamelatron has been featured in concerts, at festivals and as the centerpiece in extended installations in Russia, Europe, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan and the United States. For more details about the artist, please visit http://aarontaylotkuffner.com. For information about The Gamelatron, visit http://gamelatron.com.