In multimedia artist Tony Oursler’s site-specific installation Tear of The Cloud, commissioned by the Public Art Fund (PAF), five video projections converge onto the gantry of Manhattan's landmarked West 69th Street Transfer Bridge and its surroundings in Riverside Park. The images that unfold at the banks of the river comprise a nodal network of symbols, texts, and figures from both reality and myth to establish a vertiginous system of ideas and themes that illuminate the complex and still-evolving past of the Hudson River Valley. The histories and historiographies of this region have been a site of recurrent interest for Oursler since his first mature efforts in the early 1980s. Illuminated by a flowchart designed by the artist and displayed on one of the five projection booths that surround the gantry, the subjects of the video sequences range from the Headless Horseman to Timothy Leary, Morse code, the 19th-century utopian community Oneida, digital facial recognition technology, and the Manhattan Project. Approached from the south, dreamy music accompanies the crouched bodies of various youths crawling across the trusses slanting into the water. This soon gives way to the disembodied faces of various actors reciting characteristically enigmatic phrases written or found by the artist. To the right, a weeping willow gently bends toward the river, its swaying branches animating a montage of sequences projected onto its foliage. The primary structure of the bridge acts as the support for the most extensive section of the work, where a series of scenes describe the evolution of various systems of information distribution across the last few centuries. This theme is apt, as the bridge, which was built in 1911, once functioned as a dock that assisted the transfer of railroad cars to the barges that connected Manhattan to the Weehawken Yards in New Jersey. To the north of the structure, a projection onto the salty waters of the Hudson is visible—and audible—from the pier, providing deeper insight into some of the characters who inhabit the scenes projected onto the gantry. For example, we learn that Dexter and Sinister are the problematic names of a sailor colonist and a Lenape Native American, respectively, who uphold the 1915 official Seal of the City. The northern face of the gantry provides a portraiture-type space for some of the most primary characters in Oursler’s repertoire, including the figure that heads his flowchart: an anthropomorphic white horse head in the form of a knight chess piece. “Reprogram is everything,” she states, reciting a series of chess moves as her image slowly slips off the gantry’s supporting beams. Manifesting the flow of information through a site designed to aid the shipment of raw materials, Tear of The Cloud embodies the rhizomatic complexities of the present moment through the archival impulse that brings us the region’s past. Tear of The Cloud is on view Tuesday through Sunday from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. in Riverside Park through October 31. The artist will discuss the work during a talk at The New School’s Tishman Auditorium on November 1.
Posts tagged with "Riverside park":
Stretching alongside the Hudson River from 59th to 72nd Street, Riverside Park South is getting a makeover. Here, authorities are planning to install bicycle paths, picnic benches and tables, basketball courts, bathrooms and playing fields.
The area has been subject to a recent development boom, with a full-floor penthouse on One Riverside Park having recently been sold for $20,063,525. This isn't the only case though. According to NYC Blog Estate, "the average price per square foot of a Riverside Boulevard condominium increased 10 percent year-over-year to $1,552 in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to a 4 percent gain to $1,417 in Manhattan as a whole."
Sales in the vicinity are also outpacing that of Manhattan, rising 23 percent between 2010 and 2011 compared to Manhattan's measly 6 percent inflation. One source for the growth in the area's property market could be the development is likely to be the project going on at Riverside Park South.
Development to the park, when finalized, will no doubt see further property be sold along the riverfront, with quality public space within the vicinity acting as small catalyst to real estate prices. New York landscape architecture practice, Thomas Balsley Associates are fronting the development which has so far been 15-years in the making.
The firm started design work in 1998, however, construction on the 25-acre site only began in 2001. Their scheme is unique in comparison to other waterfront parks in New York City due to the fact that it connects directly onto the Manhattan gird.
Restored gantries, once used to load railcars onto barges and old piers, will celebrate the area's industrial past as the project looks to re-establish the waters edge on West Manhattan as a bustling communal area. Articulation of both passive and active spaces meanwhile act as a threshold between the bank of the Hudson and the busy freeway.
This juxtaposition of environments is amplified further by a 40-foot grade change from the street that is sloped into a descent toward the river via walkways, ramps, overlooking terraces overlooks and stairways.
On 73rd Street, a newly installed stairway takes pedestrians southward toward open green spaces, intended for sport and leisure, and a pier that houses a cafe. Extending 750 feet out, the pier becomes the parks most identifiable feature, able to offer views up and down the Hudson.
All in all, the space is tied together through the arrangement of circulatory devices such as esplanades, marshland, boardwalks and planting. These pedestrian-friendly havens, neatly nestled away from the chaos of Manhattan, make for a ideal space to relax and escape the adjacent city.
Comprising six "phases", the development is two thirds of the way through the scheme. The fourth phase was completed in 2008 by which time the project had amassed a cost of $43.7 million. Phase five is due to begin construction in June this year and further costs are estimated at $49.6 million for the final two phases with the project being completed by late 2018.