Citysphere is an interactive video installation that explores the question of how we can find beauty in even the most mundane of urban experiences, such as walking down a city sidewalk.
Living in a large city can be overwhelming at times. There’s an over abundance of visual stimuli from just about every direction—just think about the dozens of garbage heaps you pass by, the hundreds of people you see, the thousands of advertisements you can’t avoid—all on a daily basis. Most of us have gotten into the habit of putting on metaphorical blinders every time we leave our apartments just to survive the onslaught.
The vast majority of what we do see are man-made rectilinear objects—buildings, billboards, sidewalk squares, crosswalks, subway cars, don’t walk signs, elevators, office doors, computer screens; this list can go on. For anyone who’s lived in a large city like New York long enough, the thought of finding beauty in one’s daily experiences can start to seem foreign after a while.
Citysphere reframes a simple urban experience in the hopes of providing new perspectives. In the same way that one might find beauty in an ordinary leaf by focusing intently on its cellular structure, this installation zooms in on a tiny piece of the urban landscape in the hopes of revealing something beautiful about the larger picture.
Citysphere is created with custom software written by the artist in OpenFrameworks. The software takes a single webcam feed and splits it into 529 mini-feeds which are then mapped onto the surface of a sphere. In it’s first incarnation it was shown every night from December 4th to January 22nd, 2014, at the Roger Smith Hotel (Window at 125).