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Adam Frank: Performer

The Times Square Alliance presents Performer, an interactive public art work by Adam Frank on display from Oct 13 through Nov 22. Performer is located in Anita’s Way, a sidewalk passage at the Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park that connects 42nd and 43rd Street.

The focal point of Performer is a bright theater spotlight that will project a large, white oval on the ground of Anita’s Way. When a person walks on to the oval – into the spotlight – a roar of clapping will erupt from speakers in the area. The enthusiasm of the virtual crowd will increase with the movement of the viewer and with the amount of viewers in the oval. The enthusiasm will subside as the viewer’s movement decreases, and if the viewer is still, the audience will eventually go silent except for an occasional cough or clearing of the throat. All audience sound comes from layered recordings of a real audience, and every simulated audience response will be unique.

Performer flips the typical relationship between viewer and art piece. Rather than simply being the spectator, the viewer becomes the spectacle: his or her performance is necessary to activate the work. Performer also plays on the “Make It or Break It” culture of Broadway and Times Square. For over 100 years, the Crossroads of the World has drawn aspiring artists to its stages, where competition for the spotlight is intense and where acclaim can be fleeting. But with Performer, which Frank describes as an “auto-affirmation machine,” every passer-by can live out the fantasy of “making it” without the risk of failure.

About Adam Frank: Adam Frank is an internationally shown artist and innova­tive product inventor. Adam Frank was an artist-in-res­idence at the LMCC World Views program in The World Trade Center and produced a large-scale installation in co-production with The Banff Centre for the Arts. At Eye­beam, a new media arts lab in Chelsea NYC, Adam pro­duced an interactive artwork using real-time, autonomous characters. This work was selected to represent the Unit­ed States in an exhibition at the Athens Summer Olympic Games. He has recently been awarded a NYFA Grant, a NYSCA grant and was a Yaddo fellow in 2004. Adam has won a large commission from The City of Denver for an outdoor, permanent public installation. In 2009, Adam In­stalled two outdoor works in New York City, one in Bowling Green Park and one on the façade of the New York Stock Exchange. Adam has just received a large-scale perma­nent public art commission from The City of Rochester, New York. This new media installation is entirely funded by the Federal Government of the United States.  Both of Adam’s products, LUMEN and REVEAL, are amongst MoMA Store’s best selling items, and have been featured in the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Dwell and USAToday, Metropolis and Architectural Record.


The Alliance especially thanks The Durst Organization for hosting this project.

The Durst Organization