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Coolture Impact at Times Square

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Coolture Impact at Times Square
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Interactive Video Art Installation Featuring LED Display Technology Fosters Engagement in Times Square

People from across the world visit Times Square to see the brilliant neon lights, the massive digital billboards, the street performers and marvel at the sheer scale of activity and entertainment. A new addition to Times Square now invites the public to not only observe but also become part of a unique, video art installation.

On the southwest corner of 42nd Street and 8th Avenue, 12 ground-level windows of the New York Port Authority Bus Terminal have been transformed into COOLTURE IMPACT, an interactive video wall installation engineered with motion-responsive technology.

A motion sensor camera tracking system that is custom-mounted with the displays allows passersby to make the artistic, digital canvases come alive with their own movements. A wave of the hand is translated onto the display as a creative rendering that captures the audience´s gestures. COOLTURE IMPACT provides a new technological environment in which works of responsive art can be delivered to mass audiences.

The installation is designed with an interactive framework software system developed by NoirFlux and a ZED 3D depth and motion sensing camera from Stereolabs. Specific responses to COOLTURE IMPACT's featured artwork programming are presented in real-time through Planar TVH Series fine pitch LED video walls with a 2.5 millimeter pixel pitch (TVH2.5) from Planar.

The Planar TVH Series delivers industry-leading image quality and includes compact LED cabinets that provide an exact fit for any video wall size or configuration. Available with a redundant video and power option, the Planar TVH Series is designed for continuous operation and engineered for the most demanding applications.

The driving force behind the project is Coolture, a firm specializing in cultural and branding events in emblematic spaces, both public and private. Working with support from the Port Authority, Coolture assembled a team of video artists, filmmakers, interactive designers, software developers and engineers to create the project, produced by non-profit Cultural Semiotic Alliance.

Creating a positive impact through interactive art

Ana Calvo de Luis, founder and managing director at Coolture, said the space in front of the Port Authority Bus Terminal—where more than 250,000 commuters and tourists pass by each day—was an ideal setting for the dynamic installation. "This is a very busy and raw urban location," she said. "Our intent was to introduce this project as a way to bring some positive light to the area."

More than a digital display that can be manipulated, the interactive video wall installation is a platform that allows for different presentations of dynamic, artistic content. The first featured presentation at COOLTURE IMPACT is The Now, which offers a journey into magical worlds, hidden spaces and participatory environments.

Created by Laia Cabrera & Co., an award-winning team of film, animators and visual artists, in collaboration with immersive interactive artists NoirFlux and Karan Parikh, The Now holds animated stories that are waiting to be told. With their motions, people can visually engage the various storylines, moving narratives forward through interaction.

To deliver video art content 24x7, Calvo de Luis said a high-quality video wall was essential. "The Planar video wall has the right brightness for visibility during the day and at night the installation looks simply incredible," she said. "This is an example of how we can create social impact and a truly immersive experience by combining art with forward-looking technologies. Art is the language and technology is the medium for communicating it."