A few evenings ago, in the never ending attempt to tire out my puppy Nigel, I took a walk to Madison Square Park. I had traversed the park only a few days prior and noticed a strange installation in the center of the main lawn. During the day it looked like a series of small bags filled with sand hanging from tracks, in no particular pattern or meaning. My evening visit with Nigel revealed the true nature of the installation as a light sculpture that seemed to react to the passersby in a mysterious way. Silhouettes of unseen pedestrians would appear by turning off a set of lights, the source of which was unclear.
Scattered Light. Designed by Jim Campbell.
LED Light Installation in Madison Square Park
While Nigel romped in the dog park, I continued to watch the light installation as I did a little research on the artist, Jim Campbell. Scattered Light is one of three Madison Square Art installations by Campbell that will be on exhibit from October 21, 2010 through February 28, 2011. Scattered Light is the largest, featuring nearly 2,000 LED lights which were donated by Halco Lighting Technologies. The LED lights are programmed to create figurative images within the 3-D matrix of light which are identifiable from one vantage point and are totally obscured from another. Campbell uses pixelated images to provoke the viewers mind to fill in the blanks and create a unique context for the work. Scattered Light is mesmerizing to the extent that I completely missed the other installations, Broken Window and Voices in the Subway Station. Jim Campbell's talent with light with certainly draw me back to see them.
"Both abstract and representational, physical and image-based, the three works that comprise Scattered Light will illuminate and activate Madison Square Park with Campbell’s light-based sculptural approach to today’s concept of pixilated image-making, in a manner that is at once elegantly simple and quintessentially contemporary." - Madison Square Park Conservancy