In partnership with Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and The Municipal Art Society of New York, Times Square Arts presents artist Joshua Frankel’s I LIVE HERE, Animation from “A Marvelous Order” on Times Square’s electronic billboards from 11:57 p.m. to midnight every night in May. This project is a part of Midnight Moment, a monthly presentation by The Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) and Times Square Arts.
In the mid-20th century, urban theorist and activist Jane Jacobs took on Robert Moses, the Master Builder behind most of New York City’s bridges, highways, housing projects, parks, zoos and public swimming pools, in a battle over the fate of lower Manhattan and New York City as a whole – one that is still relevant today.
Joshua Frankel brings that battle to visual life with animation, creating a collage of photographs and film footage, computer-generated imagery, libretto fragments, and blueprints for Moses’ proposed Lower Manhattan Expressway to illustrate the epic structures, millions of people, grassroots protest, and abstract urban theories involved in the conflict.
Excerpted from the forthcoming multimedia opera A Marvelous Order, I LIVE HERE travels through the city, speeding by the buildings that would have been demolished by the Lower Manhattan Expressway, watching the infinite drips of air conditioners or the growth of shadows across a street, and unfurling change like rolls of sod across empty spaces. The result examines preservation, “progress,” and the very human conflict that grew out of themes that are right at home in Times Square.
A Marvelous Order is being composed by Judd Greenstein with direction and animation design by Joshua Frankel and a libretto by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Tracy K. Smith. An excerpt of A Marvelous Order will be performed at Fulton Center on June 15, 17, and 18 as part of Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s River To River Festival.