Using 48 hours worth of time-lapse footage I digitally recreated the facade of I.M. Pei’s Kips Bay Towers and turned it into a giant digital display.
In 2010 my parents moved back to New York City.
I found the austere brutalist architecture mesmerizing but oppressive,
unable to grapple with its magnitude and concrete uniformity.
Late one night,
I was watching the building as it’s inhabitants begin retiring for the night. The lit up windows of their apartments squares powering down.
It occured to me;
Each of these windows, row after row, resembled the workings of a digital display.
If I could find some way to control the lights across the building,
I could draw images on the facade.
I set about capturing 932 images over 48 hours
Using a Canon 60D with Magic Lantern firmware’s time-lapse feature.
Next, using Photoshop, I created two images:
One with all the lights in the building on and one with all the lights off.
In After Effects I could now use a simple grid of black and white
To animate any pattern I wished.
To accomplish the shutters opening
I followed a similar technique creating two images of the shutters fully open and closed.
Then animated a short clip of them opening
And used a time-displacement effect to open and close them using shades of grey.
The sequence was set to Dimlite’s “In Groups to the Hydrandd”
In Premiere Pro.
The result was a new technique of creating photorealistic motion graphics
Which I’ve re-used for professional projects since.
Taking an unpleasant part of my reality and bending it to create my own through a novel technique.