Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Sleepwalking in the City

Today's title refers less to my physical state after a six hour red eye turbulence fuelled flight across the Atlantic and more about what could be the most-seen show in MOMA's history, Doug Aitken's "Sleepwalkers" (and the highlight of NYC's current public art offering). "Sleepwalkers" is a nighttime installation comprised of continuous sequences of film scenes projected onto facades that transform the streets surrounding the MOMA into a vast outdoor multiplex.

Filmed in New York City, "Sleepwalkers" comprises five, 13 minute, interweaving vignettes which follow five different characters—a bicycle messenger, an electrician who fixes neon signs in Times Square, a postal worker, a businessman, and an office worker through a night in the City. As they move from the solitude of their personal lives (waking up, drinking coffee or juice, leaving their apartments) to their workplace and unexpected encounters, the interconnected narratives emerge. It’s bleak illustration of the day in a life of a New Yorker makes you wonder if Aitkens should have cut to LCD Sound System’s "New York I Love You" (…but you're bringing me down).

With the pervasive nature and immediacy of the current interactive culture, "Sleepwalkers" won’t be the height of the digital art age, but is it the blueprint for the future?

For a 60 second trailer clip, click here.

Sleepwalkers
MOMA, every evening from 5-10 pm for 28 consecutive days, from 16 January-12 February 2007. Outdoors. Free.

11 Comments:

Anonymous Sam23 said...

Think of the slides at the Tate Modern. Turning museums inside out and offering up free public installation art is certainly the wave of the future!

This looks great, makes me want to book up to NYC!

5:40 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds fascinating...loved the clip only wish I could see more.

5:46 pm  
Anonymous Ella said...

I love Tilda Swindown - didn't hear that she was in this. Looks great. Will it come to London?

5:48 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favorite contrast was how the people sitting inside the pricey, candlelit, glassed-in Modern restaurant must've felt at the sight of us outside in the dark, the bundled observers, allowed in to the scuplture garden for free to witness some (but not all) of the screens flickering above the diners. The idea of "sleepwalkers" takes on another mythico-cinematic element in us, who were like zombies pacing around in the gloom while the elite sit inside and try to pretend the world (or the world of some imagined movie) isn't coming to an end.

6:09 pm  
Anonymous badgelady said...

The thing I take away from this brief clip is this sense that we all do things -- as in small actions, movements, gestures -- every day that are analagous to those of other people, perhaps at the same time of the day, perhaps not long before or after.

6:11 pm  
Anonymous newyorkdaytripper said...

I woke up yesterday morning to a great Fishko Files segment on WNYC about how being surprised by art, happening upon it without having known about it ahead of time, feeling the little thrill of discovery, is a rarer thing these days in the world of mass media. Rare but not entirely gone.but not entirely gone.

6:13 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cool blog here
will be back
sleepwalkers looks awesome!

6:20 pm  
Anonymous dawnbysea said...

Very edgy of the MOMA. From the sound of it they turned the gallery inside out and gave the people a different way to appreciate art. I am all for public street art.

6:45 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

great column today CS!!!

11:14 pm  
Anonymous Claire said...

That vid definitely wokr me up. Who is still sleepwalking after that? :-)

9:15 am  
Blogger Dientudong said...

Sleepwalking, also known as somnambulism, is a sleep disorder belonging to the parasomnia family. Sleepwalkers arise from the slow wave sleep stage in a state of low consciousness and perform activities that are usually performed during a state of full consciousness. These activities can be as benign as sitting up in bed, walking to the bathroom, and cleaning, or as hazardous as cooking, driving, having sex, violent gestures, grabbing at hallucinated objects, or even homicide.
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5:46 am  

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