HAND-DRAWN ANIMATED FILM BY NEW YORK PERFORMANCE GROUP NATURE THEATER OF OKLAHOMA COMES TO TIMES SQUARE’S DIGITAL SCREENS FOR SEPTEMBER’S MIDNIGHT MOMENT
Nature Theater of Oklahoma
Monthly Program is Organized and Supported by the Times Square Advertising Coalition in Partnership with Times Square Arts
September 2013, every night from 11:57 p.m. – midnight
September’s Midnight Moment is Co-presented with the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) as part of FIAF’s 2013 Crossing the Line Festival, Film is from Episode 4.5 of Nature Theater of Oklahoma’s internationally celebrated, sixteen-hour multi-art serial, Life and Times
(New York, N.Y.) August 20, 2013 ––The seemingly ordinary event of a woman playing with her beloved cat takes over the screens of Times Square for September’s Midnight Moment. Created by New York art and performance group Nature Theater of Oklahoma—whose directors, Kelly Copper and Pavol Liska, are winners of 2013 Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards and a 2013 Alpert Award—the colorful and intimate animated film brings the experimental theater group’s work to over fifteen of the largest digital signs in Times Square. The video will premiere just before midnight on Sunday, September 1st and play every night throughout September from 11:57 p.m. – midnight.
The Midnight Moment is a synchronized program and presentation of the Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) and Times Square Arts. This month's program is co-presented with the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) as part of FIAF’s 2013 Crossing the Line festival.
The three-minute hand-drawn animation is a part of the Nature Theater of Oklahoma’s epic Life and Times series, a sixteen-hour, multi-art serial created from a single phone conversation with a 34-year-old woman, who tells her whole life story up to the present day.
In Episodes 4.5 and 5 (a Crossing the Line 2013 commission), the project moves away from live performance into other artistic forms. Episode 4.5, originally a 30-minute animated film, begins with the end of high school and the search for love. The saga continues in Episode 5—which makes its New York premiere on Friday and Saturday, September 20 and 21, at FIAF’s Florence Gould Hall as part of Crossing the Line—with the first sexual experience, told through a medieval illuminated manuscript with sexually explicit, hand-drawn illustrations, given to each audience member along with a flashlight.
Alan High, Chairman of the Times Square Advertising Coalition and President & General Manager of Clear Channel Outdoor Spectacolor & Mall Divisions, said: “We are excited to showcase the fascinating work of the performance group Nature Theater of Oklahoma on the digital screens this September as part of the Midnight Moment. The digital signs in Times Square represent the perfect place to display this exciting and cutting-edge content.”
Sherry Dobbin, Director of Public Art for Times Square Alliance, said: “Private life turns into performance on the Times Square screens in September. This work, which makes the mundane experimental, magnifies an intimate moment for public viewing in the world’s most visited public space.”
"Nature Theater of Oklahoma is one of New York's premiere downtown performance groups," said Gideon Lester, co-curator of Crossing the Line. "We're thrilled to be bringing their spectacular work to midtown, and to the attention of thousands of new audience members each night."
"Nature Theater of Oklahoma is thrilled to have a portion of the animated film that is Life and Times - Episode 4.5 included in the Midnight Moment,” says Kelly Copper, co-director of Nature Theater of Oklahoma. “It's the perfect platform for the work we're doing now—a combination of pedestrian content with epic intent. To be allowed this type of scale, and to put the work so iconically in the very heart of New York City—our home town—is really a dream come true."
Midnight Moment is the largest coordinated effort in history by the sign operators in Times Square to display synchronized, cutting-edge creative content on electronic billboards and newspaper kiosks throughout Times Square every night. The program premiered in May 2012 and is organized and supported by the Times Square Advertising Coalition in partnership with Times Square Arts, the public art program for the Times Square Alliance, with additional partners of participating sign holders and artists.
Each night, Times Square becomes a digital art gallery through dazzling visuals on select billboards and newsstands. Every show begins at 11:57 p.m. with a "countdown" that signals the start of the three minute nightly presentation. Past artists featured in the program include 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, presented as part of FIAF’s 2012 Crossing the Line festival; Brian Gonzalez (aka Taxiplasm);Björk; JR; Ryan McGinley; Jack Goldstein; and Yoko Ono. For more information on past projects, please visit www.TimesSquareNYC.org/MidnightMoment.
The following digital screens are participating in the September Midnight Moment: ABC Super Sign, American Eagle Times Square, Bank of America, CEMUSA, City Outdoor, Disney, JVC Screen, NASDAQ, Spectacolor HD129 / Times Square Museum & Visitor Center Marquee, ClearChannel HD128, Spectacolor HD127 / CNN Screen, Times Square Museum & Visitor Center, Viacom North & South (SL Green Realty) Thomson Reuters, and 7TS (7 Times Square).
Content changes monthly; selected works are announced in the weeks preceding the start of a new show as are the exact signs participating in that month's selection. Guidelines for artist and designer participation in future programs are located on the Times Square Alliance website.
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. www.timessquareadcoalition.org
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 ArtPlace America, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and partner institutions. Visit www.TimesSquareNYC.org/arts for more information. Follow us on Twitter: @TSqArts
Crossing the Line
Crossing the Line is the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)'s annual fall festival, presenting interdisciplinary works and performances in New York. The festival explores the dialogue between artist and public, and examines how artists help re-imagine the world as critical thinkers and catalysts for social evolution. Crossing the Line is initiated and produced by FIAF in partnership with leading cultural institutions. The festival's seventh edition takes place this year from September 19-October 13, 2013. For complete line-up, tickets, and more information, visit fiaf.org/ctl.
About the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)
FIAF's mission is to create and offer New Yorkers innovative and unique programs in education and the arts that explore the evolving diversity and richness of French cultures. FIAF seeks to generate new ideas and promote cross cultural dialogue through partnerships and new platforms of expression. fiaf.org
About Nature Theater of Oklahoma
Nature Theater of Oklahoma is an award-winning New York art and performance group under the direction of Pavol Liska and Kelly Copper. Since Poetics: a ballet brut, the company’s first dance piece created as an ensemble, Nature Theater of Oklahoma has been devoted to making the work they don't know how to make, putting themselves in impossible situations, and working from out of their own ignorance and unease. More information at oktheater.org
The Off-off-Broadway company Nature Theater of Oklahoma present themselves by quoting Franz Kafka. It is also from his novel America that they have taken their name:
"Personnel is being hired for the Theater in Oklahoma! The Great Nature Theater of Oklahoma is calling you! It's calling you today only! If you miss this opportunity, there will never be another! Anyone thinking of his future, your place is with us! All welcome! Anyone who wants to be an artist, step forward! We are the theater that has a place for everyone, everyone in his place! If you decide to join us, we congratulate you here and now! But hurry, be sure not to miss the midnight deadline! We shut down at midnight, never to reopen! Accursed be anyone who doesn't believe us!"
-- Franz Kafka, Amerika
For TSAC: Justine DiGiglio (212) 205-6632
For Times Square Arts: Gia Storms (212) 452-5205 or Daniela Stigh (Rubenstein) 212-843-8269
For Nature Theater of Oklahoma and FIAF’s 2013 Crossing the Line festival: John Wyszniewski (718) 643-9052
For FIAF: Natascha Bodemann (646) 388 6677