Excerpts From The First Amendment To Appear On Times Square Screens In Andrew Sloat’s Three-Minute Video For The Midnight Moment

  • Image still courtesy of the artist.

    Image still courtesy of the artist.

Monthly Program is Organized and Supported by the Times Square Advertising Coalition in Partnership with Times Square Arts

October 2013, every night from 11:57 p.m.–Midnight

October’s Midnight Moment is Co-presented with AIGA/NY


New York, New York, October 1, 2013—October’s Midnight Moment features 1st Amendment (excerpts) by graphic designer and filmmaker Andrew Sloat, reminding visitors of Times Square’s strong identity as the nation’s “town square.” 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 video will premiere just before midnight on Tuesday, October 1st, and play every night throughout October from 11:57 p.m.–midnight.  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 by AIGA/NY and Times Square Arts

The AIGA/NY invited a select group of New York designers to submit videos for the October Midnight Moment. Andrew Sloat's video was ultimately selected for its content, approach, and distinctive execution. Using analogue techniques, Sloat focuses on the key elements of Times Square: color, words, and movement, with excerpts from the U.S. Constitutional First Amendment literally spelled out. 

A place like Times Square exists because the rights of free speech and assembly are broadly defined and protected in America. Yet in an urban environment, these freedoms are also constantly negotiated. This twelve-channel video celebrates the simple words that make this globally-famous place possible.

Fred Rosenberg, Acting Chairman of the Times Square Advertising Coalition, said: “TSAC is thrilled to showcase this film as it asks the viewer to pause and reflect on the condition of the public’s freedoms that are sometimes taken for granted.  Times Square is a perfect venue for a film of this nature.”

Sherry Dobbin, Director of Times Square Arts, said: “Time Square hosts more daily visitors than any other public space in the country. We have more illuminated brands glowing on signs twenty-four hours a day; we house major financial, real estate, and retail development.  We are home to The New York Times and The Town Hall, where some of the greatest suffrage debates raged. It seems most appropriate to bring artist-led projects to a place where free speech and commerce co-exist, under the eyes of the world.”

Andrew Sloat said: “I'm thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to partner with the Times Square Alliance, Times Square Advertising Coalition, and AIGA/NY to see my work at a scale I'd never dreamed of. My ongoing "We the Constitution" project has until now only reached a limited audience, primarily online; to extend it to a wider audience in New York City's most public place makes it that much more powerful and exciting.”

Willy Wong, President of the AIGA/NY chapter, and Todd St. John, Board Member of the AIGA/NY Chapter, state: “The spirits of AIGA-NYC and Times Square are undoubtedly grounded in our country’s first amendment privileges. Our freedoms of speech, assembly, association, and press are all principles expressed by the aura of our nation’s greatest town square. It’s awesome to showcase a bit of DIY in the Crossroads of the World, and share the message that design and creativity are also great privileges that are accessible and within an arm’s or hand’s reach!”

This partnership with AIGA/NY is highlighted during October, a key time for New York City to concentrate on design. The Midnight Moment will be on view throughout the International Downtown Association Global World Congress, as well as openhousenewyork Weekend, where the video and the Times Square signs will feature midnight guided tours. Additionally, the video will screen at the AIGA Design Conference in Minneapolis this month.

The following digital screens are participating in the October 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). 


About Midnight Moment

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; Brian Gonzalez (aka Taxiplasm);Björk; JR; Ryan McGinley; Jack Goldstein; Nature Theater of Oklahoma; and Yoko Ono. For more information on past projects, please visit www.TimesSquareNYC.org/MidnightMoment.

Midnight Moment 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.


Andrew Sloat is a graphic designer and filmmaker. He makes books, advertisements, educational videos, and ephemera for non-profits, cultural institutions, and corporate clients. He lives and works in Brooklyn, teaches in the graphic design MFA program at RISD, and is active in local and state-level good-government activism. www.andrewsloat.com


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, collaborates with contemporary artists to experiment and engage with one of the world's most iconic urban places. Acting as a laboratory for contemporary art in the public realm—a place where ideas are tested and new possibilities explored. Times Square Arts works with artists and cultural institutions to create dialogues with Times Square and all of its physical and mythological manifestations. 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 by ArtPlace America and ArtWorks. Visit www.TimesSquareNYC.org/arts for more information. Follow us on Twitter @TSqArts and Instagram http://instagram.com/tsqarts


AIGA/NY is a nonprofit professional membership organization founded in 1914 and headquartered in New York City. The New York Chapter was created in 1982 as the organization began creating local chapters to decentralize leadership. The New York Chapter is a separately incorporated, nonprofit organization with its own Board of Directors, bylaws and tax-exempt status. While it is self-governing in every way, it operates in a manner consistent with the mission of the parent organization. http://aigany.org/ 

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