We all know what kind of month January is in New York City. It’s the post-Holiday rut where the weather, fatigue and credit card bills have us indoors more than we’d like. This year you can also add on the impact of Omicron to the not so cheery start to the year. The good news is that its only up from here, but we need to get through it one way or another. To help, the Times Square Arts Team is using its Midnight Moments series to bring you art in a way that can only be delivered in Times Square.
Utilizing the infamous Times Square electronic billboards, every night this month from 11:57pm through midnight, passerby will be treated to a tragicomic film played across 80 billboards. For three minutes every night in January, a camera descends through a fictitious office building, Building Things (2021) and offers glimpses into room after room where various scenes unfold, alternating between the mundane and the absurd. Amidst the standard vernacular of an office space — a desk, clock, filing cabinet, and fluorescent lighting — an unnamed worker takes part in increasingly non-administrative activities, involving everything from paper airplanes to bikes, balloons, and physical injury.
It’s a display that you won’t see anywhere else and only for a limited time. While it may be on past your bedtime, you can take advantage of a quieter period in our city’s center. Some may even call it romantic.
Some of the scenes displayed speak to the monotony of everyday tasks; others evoke the feeling of an entire life, milestones, and all, spent within four bland walls. These tragi-comic vignettes poke fun at the conventions of the office space and the routines of the workday, as the heightened choreography distills the everyday and parodies office culture.
It’s real life, on screens, in Times Square for 3 minutes a night in January. Only in New York.
For more information, visit http://arts.timessquarenyc.org/times-square-arts/projects/midnight-moment/building-things/index.aspx