Times Square

Robert Hamilton

2002, 02:45 minutes, colour


This title was shot in the Time Square area of New York City. The work was originally conceived as part of a study concerning human movement in public spaces.

Time Square is a documentation of a highly charged, media saturated, chaotic frenzy of excitement. The public space of Times Square is somewhat organized but is generally not purpose-built. People move freely from theatre to store to subway to restaurant… surrounded by giant video screens and billboards. Each sign has a specific corporate purpose, a meaning, which becomes an amazing overwhelming assault on the eyes. It seemed at the time to be an ideal situation to study human movement in relation to media. It also seemed that this was a physical encounter of the American public with their mass media, coming face to face with something that is usually experienced in the intimate confines of their homes. The resulting experience is somewhat transcendent, as the person in the street is unable to determine whether they are watching an event external to themselves or if they constitute that experience. They are at once both spectator and participant of the Times Square spectacle, perhaps similar in some ways to the Mardi Gras.

Technically, the videos are a collection of still images shot with a digital still camera. The images are assembled in Final Cut Pro. The resulting work is a form of time-lapse photography or pixillation. The audio is recorded separately and has a contrapuntal relationship with the images.

This work can be displayed either as single-channel video or as an installation.

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Critical Writing

Crowds Project
by Molly Johnson. Poolside, 2003. Winnipeg: Video Pool Inc., 2003.