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Release Date: Oct 01, 2012

Brazilian Public Artist Bel Borba Makes Times Square His Digital Canvas

New York, NY - For the first time since the program began in May, a film specially created for Times Square’s screens will be featured in the “Times Square Moment: A Digital Gallery,” a partnership of the Times Square Advertising Coalition and Times Square Arts. The new, site-specific work, entitled Universal Pulse, was created by Brazilian public artist Bel Borba, along with acclaimed filmmakers Burt Sun and Andre Costantini. It will premiere on October 1 and show nightly throughout the month. The film is a central element in Borba’s creative journey to New York City this fall, entitled “Bel Borba Aqui New York,” in which he has transformed the City into his newest studio and, in October, will make Times Square his base.

The Times Square Moment: A Digital Gallery will host free screenings of Universal Pulse every night throughout the month of October from 11:57 pm to midnight.

“After only six months since the program’s inception, a world-renowned artist has created a work specifically to be shown on the screens of Times Square,” said Alan High, Chairman of the Times Square Advertising Coalition and President of Clear Channel Spectacolor and Clear Channel Malls. “We are delighted to offer this singular canvas for creativity and innovation, which can only be found in the world’s most famous location at the Crossroads of the World.”

“The film Universal Pulse will transport the viewer, while watching the screens in Times Square, to a whimsical parallel universe as seen through our eyes,”  said filmmaker Burt Sun

“My collaborators and I are grateful for this unique opportunity to share our jouney of discovery with the people of New York City,”  said artist Bel Borba.

“Bel Borba has transformed his native city of Salvador, Brazil with his contagious energy, and now he brings his unique perspective to the screens of Times Square,” said Sherry Dobbin, Director of Public Art at the Times Square Alliance. “In Universal Pulse, the artist teaches us to see something new about what we encounter every day, from the paving of our city streets to the subways that pass us underground.”

Times Square Moment: A Digital Gallery is a program organized and supported by the Times Square Advertising Coalition in partnership with Times Square Arts. Launched on May 1, 2012, it is the largest coordinated effort by the sign operators in Times Square to display synchronized, cutting-edge creative content at the same time every day.  Every show begins with a countdown that signals the start of the nightly presentation. Content changes each month, with selected works and participating signs announced in the weeks preceding the start of a new show.

Additionally, for the grand finale of his month-long public art project DIÁRIO (através de um OLHO BAIANO), Bel Borba will return to Times Square, using orange street barriers and other recycled materials to create a block-long installation in Times Square in one day – giving visitors the chance to see an internationally-renowned public artist in process. Bel Borba will create the installation in view of the public Sunday, October 14th starting at 6:00am, installing it in Times Square for a 24-hour viewing before disassembling it on Monday, October 15th. This installation marks the last day of his 30-day series of transformations with recycled materials around New York City and is presented in partnership with the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) and the Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics, as part of FIAF’s 2012 Crossing the Line festival. The installation will take place on the Broadway Plaza between 46th and 47th Streets.

The following digital screens are participating in the October Times Square Moment:  ABC Super Sign, American Eagle Times Square, Bank of America, City Outdoor, Disney, JVC Screen, MTV 44 ½, NASDAQ, Clear Channel Spectacolor HD129 (on the Times Square Museum & Visitor Center marquee), Clear Channel Spectacolor HD 128 and Spectacolor HD 127, Times Square Museum & Visitor Center lobby screens, Viacom North and Viacom South (SL Green Realty and Orange Barrel Media) and Thomson Reuters. Plus, 8 CEMUSA newsstands will be lit up on Broadway and 7th Avenue between 41st and 49th Streets. The signs will continue to run the content every evening at 11:57 pm through the end of October.

Guidelines for participation in future programs are located on the Times Square Alliance website.  All inquiries relating to content should be directed to artsubmit@timessquarenyc.org and must include TIMES SQUARE MOMENT in the subject line of the email. 

Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) is a trade association comprised of major advertisers, retailers, real estate firms, media companies and other businesses involved in the outdoor sign industry in Times Square, along with organizations representing Broadway and the community.  Members of TSAC include:  ABC Regional Sports & Entertainment Sales, American Eagle Outfitters, Clear Channel Spectacolor, Daktronics, D3 LED, Digital Domination, Hines Management, Jamestown One Times Square, Lamar Advertising Company, Landmark Sign & Electric, Metro Media Technologies, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, North Shore Neon, P.R.omotion!, Sherwood Outdoor, SL Green, the Times Square Alliance, The WOW Factor and Thomson Reuters. www.timessquareadcoalition.org

Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance, presents leading contemporary art and performances in multiple forms and media to more than 400,000 daily visitors to New York City’s Times Square, making it one of the highest profile public arts programs in the United States. Since its inception, Times Square Arts has featured works by a diverse group of more than four dozen prominent and emerging artists. Times Square Arts is partially funded by Rockefeller Brothers Fund. www.TimesSquareNYC.org/arts

About Bel Borba
Brazilian visual artist Bel Borba has covered his native Salvador, a 500-year-old city in Bahia, with glorious outdoor artworks, from small mosaics to large-scale pieces composed of brightly-colored broken tiles, steel, wood, recycled materials, and sand. The eclectic work beautifully channels the experiences of the communities in which he works, providing a window into the city’s rich and complex history and culture. Known as "The People's Picasso," this eclectic artist represents a rarely seen side of Brazil.

As filmmakers Burt Sun and Andre Costantini were documenting Bel's creative process and creation in the past three years, these three artists have evolved their relationship from observer/subject (traditional documentary film-making) into a team of creative collaborators. Their objective for "Bel Borba Aqui New York" is to capture the incredible energy of this creative team in one of the most celebrated cities.

About Burt Sun
Burt Sun began his career in theater as a designer working with major American theatre artists such as Robert Woodruff, Anne Bogart, and Philip Glass, as well as in advertising, television production design, and his own fine art photography. In 2003, Mr. Sun’s multimedia project Helen DeTroit was selected by the Smithsonian Museum and presented in an exhibit titled “Skin.” Mr. Sun was involved in the restoration and inauguration of The Modern Theatre at Suffolk University in Boston, creating its new logo and publicity campaign. Mr. Sun’s photographs have been exhibited throughout the United States, Europe, Central America and Brazil. In 2009, the Urban Art Institute of MASSART commissioned Mr. Sun to create a new book about urban street art in Brazil. He traveled to Salvador Bahia and there he met the Brazilian artist Bel Borba, transforming the Urban Art Book project into a full length documentary, titled "Bel Borba, Aqui", which Mr. Sun produced and co-directed with his long time collaborator and photographer, Andre Costantini. In 2011, Mr. Sun assisted Bel Borba with his art exhibition in New York, and is the curator for the current show of Mr. Borba titled “Aqui, em 7 elementos” at Museum Rodin, Bahia, which opened in early 2012. This exhibit has been considered by many art critics to be one of the best in the past twenty years.

About Andre Costantini
Andre Costantini holds a BFA in photography and painting from Mason Gross School of the Arts. Costantini can be characterized as a multi-instrumentalist embracing art, music, writing, performance, photography and film. In 1996, André co-formed Goldleaf and Big Daddy, a performance duo where he wrote, sang and played the accordion. With panache for the bizarre, free association, pop music and 80’s references, they performed regularly in NYC’s music venues. In 1998, Mr. Costantini photographed the restoration of DaVinci’s “Last Supper” in Milan with Edie Adams, and was invited to join the Eddie Adam’s Workshop as a staff member and a master teacher where he works to this day. His recent work on Journalists in War documented truth and hardship to reflect the fragile humanity in a profession that has constantly been challenged by individuals who struggled throughout recent history, from the Vietnam War to current conflict in the Middle East.