Celia Rowlson-Hall: First Snow (2022) for December Midnight Moment. Video still courtesy of the artist.
Featuring Video Works by Artists Celia Rowlson-Hall (December), Danielle Dean (January), and Casey Kauffmann (February)
Times Square Arts, the largest public platform for contemporary performance and visual arts, is pleased to present their Winter Season Arts Program featuring Midnight Moments from artists Celia Rowlson-Hall (December), Danielle Dean (January), and Casey Kauffmann (February).
Midnight Moment is the world’s largest, longest-running digital art exhibition, synchronized on over 90 electronic billboards throughout Times Square nightly from 11:57pm to midnight. This year, Times Square Arts is celebrating the ten year anniversary of the Midnight Moment series with a roster of all women and femme-expansive artists through March 2023.
Celia Rowlson-Hall: First Snow (2022)
December Now-30, 2022 | Nightly 11:57-Midnight
In December, a whimsical welcoming of winter graces the billboards of Times Square. Director-choreographer Celia Rowlson-Hall’s First Snow is a hopeful appeal for an unending abundance of beauty amidst the fragile state of our natural world. As snow cascades across a stark, black backdrop, dancers slowly emerge from darkness. Immersed in snowfall, their choreographed movements and personal gestures are swirling and spontaneous, punctuated by pauses of wonderment that evoke memories of a first encounter with snow. Eventually drained of bodily energy, the dancers recede towards the darkness, collapsing beneath the accumulation of the silent storm.
“I have dreamed for many years of creating a piece in Times Square – the mecca of light, concrete, human imagination and drive, that allows the passerby a brief moment of beauty, quiet, and reflection, and invites nature back into this city…immersing the audience in a beautiful snowstorm, one which not only invokes beauty and wonder, but a deep nostalgia through movement and dance,” says Rowlson-Hall. “My hope for this piece is to remind people of the power and nature of beauty in all its forms, and a deep wish for mother nature to hold on.”
The making of First Snow also mirrors the environmental themes Rowlson-Hall addresses throughout her work. The snow that descends upon the dancers is made from recycled, biodegradable packing. With the intention of making films that leave as little environmental trace as possible, the costumes were lent by designer Sara Lopez of A–Company, a fashion line that seeks to reduce waste. “My films leave as little trace as possible, because I make films that celebrate the beauty of this world,” says the director. “I won’t add to the waste and destruction of our planet in that pursuit.”
January 1-31, 2023 | Nightly 11:57-Midnight
Danielle Dean: Long Low Line
Presented in partnership with 47 Canal
This January, interdisciplinary artist Danielle Dean deconstructs the narratives of consumer culture in the heart of Times Square. Through animations rendered in watercolor, Dean reimagines archival American auto advertisements, removing the cars from their sweeping fictional landscapes to peel back the illusions of capitalism and aspirational consumerism. Referencing the continuous movement of both industrial assembly lines and multiplane camera techniques, Dean uses linear panning to journey through sun-kissed mountain ranges and empty architectural ruins.
The vignettes in Long Low Line are specifically inspired by advertising campaigns for “Fordlândia”, a town built amidst the Brazilian Amazon rainforest in the 1920s to source cultivated rubber. By extrapolating the imagery originally employed to justify mass consumption and environmental extraction, Dean reclaims the visual language of advertising to imagine new fantastical environments in one of the world’s most iconic commercial spaces.
January’s presentation in Times Square stems from a longer version of Long Low Line (2019), presented at the 2022 Whitney Biennial Quiet As It’s Kept.Dean’s Midnight Moment coincides with her exhibition at 47 Canal, Horizongrabber, from December 8, 2022 to January 28, 2023.
February 1-28, 2023 | Nightly 11:57-Midnight
Casey Kauffmann: Squanderlust (2022)
Every midnight in February, the billboards of Times Square become portals to a world of net-based fantasy, flora and fauna with Casey Kaufman’s Squanderlust. An ethereal, candy colored continuum that includes pixelated rainbows and floating unicorns collaged against hyperreal nature scenes and fragmented ocean views, Squanderlust is compiled by both the artist’s original videos and extensive online scavenging.
A collector of cyber content and Internet histories, Kaufman’s net-art practice is rooted in the online search and the manipulation of “poor images” – a term coined by artist and writer Hito Steyerl to describe the state of digital content that has passed through an infinite exchange of online economies. Playing with the dynamics of popular exchange and the politics of anonymous global networks, Kauffman’s worlds are a reflection of our visual culture built upon shared histories, interests, desires, and anxieties.
ABOUT CELIA ROWLSON-HALL
Bessie Award winning Celia Rowlson-Hall (b. 1984) is a director-choreographer whose courageous personal work admits a restlessly inquisitive, feminist voice, a flare for iconic imagery, and a capacity to easily glide from art-house to playful, popular fare.
Celia’s debut feature, MA, premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2015, and went on to screen at over forty festivals worldwide, winning numerous awards, including the Breakthrough Audience award at AFI Film Festival and the Independent Visions Award at Sarasota Film Festival. That same year, Celia was named one of 25 New Faces to watch for Filmmaker Magazine.
Celia began her career as a professional dancer and quickly moved into choreographing for film and television. Early collaborators included directors Gaspar Noé and Lena Dunham on GIRLS, and more recently she choreographed After Yang, X, Birds of Paradise, Ziwe, Chapter One of Vox Lux, The Fits, and John Mulaney’s Sack Lunch Bunch. She has also choreographed music videos for artists such as Alicia Keys, Coldplay, Bleachers, and MGMT.
Bringing her experience of choreography and performance to the screen, Celia has written and directed numerous short films and videos. These videos have garnered several awards including an Emmy nomination, as well as screened at festivals such as Sundance, Venice, SXSW, SFIFF, Dance on Camera at Lincoln Center. In 2017, Miu Miu commissioned Celia to create the next installment of their Women’s Tales Series, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival. Celia is a Sundance Institute FilmTwo Fellow and Cinereach fellow, and is currently working on her next film. She currently splits her time between Brooklyn and Upstate, NY.
ABOUT ATTACCA QUARTET
Grammy award-winning Attacca Quartet, as described by The New York Times, “exuberant, funky and more exactingly nuanced”, are recognized and acclaimed as one of the most versatile and outstanding ensembles of the moment – a quartet for modern times.
In 2021, the Quartet announced their exclusive signing to SONY Classical, releasing two albums that embody their redefinition of what a string quartet can be. The first Album, Real Life, featuring guest artists such as TOKiMONSTA and Daedelus, the second Album, Of All Joys, which features their original take on great Minimalist and Renaissance works seamlessly. In September 2022, Nonesuch Records released the quartet’s new album with Caroline Shaw, Evergreen, a follow up to their Grammy-award winning album, Orange, in 2020.
Touring extensively in the United States, recent highlights include Lincoln Center’s White Lights Festival and Miller Theatre, Phillips Collection, Chamber Music Detroit, Chamber Music Austin, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Banff String Quartet Festival, Dumbarton Oaks, Howland Chamber Music Circle and Ojai Festival.
In the US, the quartet will perform at Carnegie Hall, Of All Joys at Catacombs series, Philharmonic Society of Orange County, Lawrence University, GroundUP Music Festival, UCSB Arts & Lectures and a residency at Chiarina Chamber Players.
ABOUT DANIELLE DEAN
Danielle Dean is an interdisciplinary artist whose work explores the geopolitical and material processes that colonize the mind and body. Dean received her MFA from California Institute of the Arts and is an alumna of the Whitney Independent Study Program. She recently worked on a new commission for Performa 21, New York, (2021); Amazon Proxy and a solo show at The Tate Britain, London (2022); Amazon. Other solo shows include True Red Ruin at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (2018). She participated in The Whitney Biennale in New York (2022). Other group exhibitions include Freedom of Movement, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, The Centre Cannot Hold, Lafayette Anticipation, (Paris), and Made in L.A. 2014 at The Hammer Museum (Los Angeles).
ABOUT 47 CANAL
Founded in 2011, 47 Canal is a contemporary art gallery located in New York’s Chinatown neighborhood.
ABOUT CASEY KAUFFMANN
Casey Kauffmann is an interdisciplinary artist working in drawing, installation, video, and a variety of digital mediums. She is a lecturer at the University of California San Diego. Kauffmann was born in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, California in 1989. She lives and works in Southern California and received her MFA from The University of Southern California in 2020 and her Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. Her work has been featured in publications such as Artnet, Artillery, LAWeekly, The New Yorker, I-D Vice, and Hyperallergic. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally in galleries such as Transfer Gallery, Centro de Cultura Digital, Human Resources, Lyles and King, Coaxial, Arebyte, and more. Kauffmann’s collage Instagram project @uncannysfvalley, which she started in 2014, features digital collage works and GIFs created using only her iPhone. This Instagram account and body of work has been exhibited in many galleries, written about in several esteemed publications, and led to her admission to the MFA program at the University of Southern California.
ABOUT TIMES SQUARE ARTS
Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance, collaborates with contemporary artists and cultural institutions to experiment and engage with one of the world’s most iconic urban places. 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, such as Charles Gaines, Joan Jonas, Jeffrey Gibson, Yoko Ono, Mel Chin and Kehinde Wiley, to help the public see Times Square in new ways. Times Square has always been a cultural district and place of risk, innovation and creativity, and the arts program ensures these qualities remain central to the district’s unique identity.