A view of Marco Brambilla's "Materialization/De-materialization" (2013) projected on the Grace Hotel pool. (photo by Ka-Man Tse for @TSqArts)

A view of Marco Brambilla’s “Materialization/De-materialization” (2013) projected on the Grace Hotel pool. (photo by Ka-Man Tse for @TSqArts)

Last Wednesday night, the inaugural edition of the After Hours series kicked off at the Room Mate Grace Hotel lounge in New York’s Times Square with a haunting installation by artist Marco Brambilla and an ethereal performance by Cammisa Buerhaus. Co-organized by Times Square Arts and the Clocktower Gallery, the event welcomed the whole Art on Air team, including Joe Ahearn, Beatrice Johnson, David Weinstein, and Jeannie Hopper, as they livestreamed from the, venue interviewing the participating artists and attendees throughout the night. The temporary exhibit was generously hosted by Room Mate Grace Hotel. Hyperallergic was the exclusive media partner for the event, and the whole Hyperallergic team was there.

Curator Alanna Heiss captured in the slick rain and glowing lights of Times Square on her way to the party. (photo by Nadia Witte for @TSqArts)

The event attracted a wide cross-section of the city’s art world, including artists Marina Abramović, Dustin Yellin, Jane Dickson, Charlie Ahearn, Hope Sandrow, and Brian Gonzales/TaxiPlasm (who are being featured this month as part of Times Square’s Midnight Moment); cultural figures like Ella Marder, arts coordinator of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York, arts philanthropist Beth Rudin deWoody, Carol Coffin, executive director at International Council of MoMA, curator Ryan Wong of the Museum of Chinese in America, philanthropist Sanford Kreiger; art critics Amanda Gordon, Robin Cembalest, and Blake Gopnik; and over 100 Hyperallergic readers as well.

The work created the sense of some communal campfire, where guests gathered to stare into the pool of projections. I asked Brambilla about the concept behind his piece. “‘Materialization/De-materialization’ uses video samples from the ‘Transporter room’ effect from the original Star Trek television series where the characters were ‘De-materialized’ then teleported through space and ‘Re-materialized’ at their destination,” he explained. “Hundreds of characters are introduced as video loops and appear perpetually trapped in this moment of transition as concentric rings. The projection onto water impregnated with white pearlescent mica creates a translucent surface where the characters only become distinguishable as the rings get larger and approach ‘the surface’of the swimming pool. The pool glows with patterns and abstract formations of something not yet formed but seemingly conscious.”

After hours brings back the spontaneity and grit of a NYC before my time,” artist Dustin Yellin said. “Marco [Brambilla] is a master moving-image maker. It is a delight to see his energies shifting through the moving waters of a midtown swimming pool. This fusion of water and light makes for the poetry of a 1,000 hallucinations.”

The director of public art at the Times Square Alliance, Sherry Dobbin, and the president of the Times Square Alliance, Tim Tompkins, were both thrilled with the event. “Times Square has held a long-standing creative relationship with artists and surprising venues, and we are thrilled with our inaugural event of the After Hours program and our collaboration with the Clocktower Gallery/ARTonAIR. Our partners at Room Mate Grace Hotel couldn’t have been more supportive on this venture where the artists and all of our organizations were pushing our own boundaries to create a one-night unique experience.  The audience mix and enthusiasm confirms that New Yorkers will come to Times Square for the taste of something surprising,” she said.

The next After Hours will take place in May; stay tuned for more details.

Artists Marina Abramović and Marco Brambilla with the Clocktower Gallery founder Alanna Heiss at After Hours (photo by Nadia Witte for @TSqArts)

(photo by Ka-Man Tse for @TSqArts)

(photo by Ka-Man Tse for @TSqArts)

Musician Cammisa Buerhaus performing during the event (photo by Ka-Man Tse for @TSqArts)

Sherry Dobbin (left) and members of the Times Square Alliance team (photo by Ka-Man Tse for @TSqArts)

(photos by Nadia Witte for @TSqArts)

The Latest

Stories That Need to Be Told

Stories That Need to Be Told

Artist Minouk Lim wants to offer a very different perspective on how one might deal with a grim history whose effects continue to be felt in the present.

Required Reading

Required Reading

This week: Should Washington have a national memorial for gun violence? Have cats used us to take over the world? What is Cluttercore? And more.

Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.