1 projector, 350-degree vapor, 14,400 frames
Shot live overnight in Times Square, directors Branan Edgens and Jon Morris team up again with Firehorse to create a holographic like apparition of Leah Siegel floating within the iconic location. To interpret what artist Adam Collignon called “the most beautiful yet lonely song ever heard” Edgens/Morris set the work in one of the most populated/chaotic locations on earth, the center of Times Square. The structure of the video is simple, a time lapse in the heart of Times Square, from sunset to sunrise we watch as the chaos of the city clears, becoming cold and lonely only to return again as the sun rises and a new day begins.
A mysterious single frame apparatus projects one slow frame at a time, it’s purpose unknowable until the sun sets and the projectors target is revealed to be a geyser of steam erupting from an orange cone — iconic NY imagery. As the camera pushes in, Firehorse’s frontwoman Leah Siegel sings, “Looking out on a cold night, I know there’s more trouble than my own.” We discover her projected on steam singing directly to camera in real time as the city whirls around her at hyper speed.
As the video progresses, her image, like an apparition, comes and goes as the steam shifts in the wind. In contrast to capital controlled Times Square media space, mother nature controls how much access we get to Leah. She sings, staring calmly towards us as the steam reveals and conceals her gaze. She is alone, looking out on us in the cold night as the frantic lights flash around us trying to buy our attention away. The imagery is captivating but simple and supports Leah’s moving lyrics and dynamic voice. This might be the closest we get to taking a late night stroll through Times Square with Joni Mitchell and Sam Cook.
Times Square, NYC
300′ x 300′ x 50′ Installation, Video
Film, projector, coned steam
Written and Performed: Leah Siegel, Firehorse
Concept: Jon Morris
Direction: Branan Edgens and Jon Morris
Editing: Branan Edgens
Timelapse: Will O’Hare
FX: Wes Waldron
Production Assistants: Emily Davis, Aidan O’Shea, Paula Acosta, Marissa Maislen
Special Thanks to: Times Square Art Alliance