Just after 4:00p.m. Sunday afternoon, cryptic messages visible for miles around Manhattan were written in the sky, spelling out, among other things, "Last Chance." Out of context to millions in the streets below, the messages were slightly unnerving and deliberately vague. Curious speculation as each giant letter was traced into the sky led many to wonder what the message actually meant: An ad? A terrorist's warning? A persistent marriage proposal? It turns out the display was part of an art project by Kim Beck called The Sky Is the Limit/NYC and sponsored by the Friends of the High Line. The Pittsburgh-based artist and professor, already familiar to High Line fans for her recent empty-billboard-inspired Space Available project, had a series of messages drawn straight from advertising billboards written in an otherwise cloud-free sky. Messages included "Everything Must Go," "All Sales Final," and "Space Available." Beck referenced The Wizard of Oz's ominous sky-written "Surrender Dorothy" as a mirror to our own unease over the economy. She also noted the opportunity for positive change in creating community: "When, in Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, a crowd gathers to piece together skywriting, the spectacle unites disparate groups, as they cluster together to find meaning in the urban landscape. I am looking for folks to become a part of it by taking pictures." A common sight around New York, certainly, was the skyward-staring cluster of pedestrians. While The Sky Is The Limit/NYC is undeniably a sobering commentary on the current state of America's economy, Beck also wanted to ensure a poetic quality to the display's open-ended presentation and fleeting quality of fading smoke. While Beck began with the likes of "Last Chance," the project ended on a brighter note with "Now Open."
Posts tagged with "Friends of the High Line":
On Tuesday, the Society of American Registered Architects (SARA) New York Council announced the winners of this year’s 14th Annual Professional Design Awards. Selected from over 100 submitted projects by an esteemed jury including Astrid Lipka, Illya Azaroff, Yen Ha, Lyn Rice, Elizabeth R. Lieber, and AN’s co-founder and publisher Diana Darling, the winning designs were singled out for their positive impact on the city’s public realm. This year’s Medallion of Honor was given to the Friends of the Highline, who were lauded for their successful effort to create the city’s new “park in the sky.” Morphosis’ Cooper Union Academic Building was named winner of the 2009 Visionary Architecture Award for its innovative design, incorporating the academic programming – art, architecture, and engineering – into the physical structure of the building, and the use of new materials and technology, including a metal mesh and glass skin. One Bryant Park, designed by Cook+Fox and developed by the Durst Organization received the Project of the Year, awarded to a project that exceeds the common expectation for a building, not only in structure but also in social responsibility. Designated LEED Platinum and currently the largest green building in the United States at 2.2 million square-feet, One Bryant Park features an advanced mechanical system with a three-and-a-half year payback, a grey water collector, and a 4.6 mega-Watt-Co-Gen plant and an Iceberg refrigerant system. In addition, Awards of Excellence, Merit, and Honor where given out in the categories of Housing, Commercial, Interior Design, Educational/Institutuional, Rehabilitation/Remodeling, The Arts, Urban Design Studies, and Student work. SARA's complete list of all project winners can be found here.