The luminous architectural installation comprises of reflective rotating columns designed to reference the experience of living in a metropolis like NYC. “Our goal was to create a simple, yet transformative experience that metaphorically and physically reflects the surroundings of A/D/O and New York City at large”, explains Matt Clark, the founder of United Visual Artists (UVA). This reflection is enacted by the golden installation, each nine-foot-tall column splitting and refracting its surroundings as it rotates. These movements have been determined by research into human activity in the city; the algorithm illustrating when the crowds are most frantic, and most calm throughout the day.
This poetic movement manages to illustrate artfully the motion of a place like New York; sometimes it seems that the city does sleep. The experience of walking amongst the columns in the A/D/O courtyard is both unsettling and exciting — two emotions often felt upon a first visit to a big city. At night the installation is quite literally illuminated, as lights from within the columns flood the space.
Its location is appropriate for such an innovative piece of art: A/D/O, whose courtyard ‘Spirit of the City’ sits within, was a warehouse until New York studio nArchitects reimagined it as a creative hub, restaurant and start-up incubator for MINI. Here, alongside design thinking programs and artist studios, you’ll find young creatives from around the world working on varied projects. You can visit and see for yourself, though the space was made by designers, it is also open to the public.
‘Spirit of the City’ was unveiled to correspond with the annual NYCxDesign Festival, and is on display at A/D/O until the second of September 2018.