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Creative Time presents: The Urban Visual Recording Machine
Posted: July 1st, 2008

In search of an idea for the cover of Creative Time’s first major book celebrating thirty-three years of bringing art throughout New York City, the team of designers, Hjalti Karlsson and Jan Wilker of karlssonwilker inc., conceived of a means to generate a cover that would capture the essence of the organization: a site-specific public art project called The Urban Visual Recording Machine (UVRM) which toured the city from September 4 to September 10, 2006.

The UVRM was a set of equipment housed in a truck reminiscent of a “pope mobile” with its large Plexiglas windows. The machines in the truck were programmed to record the colors, volume of sound and voices, and weather (wind speed and direction, temperature, and humidity) of each individual location the truck traveled to for that moment in time. The data was instantly transcribed into an abstract visual representation of the environment, with graphic shapes and patterns created by the designers and Show & Tell Production, and printed out on-site with the time and date. Every thirty seconds for five days the truck visited locations of signature Creative Time projects: Times Square, Chelsea, the East Village, Coney Island, The Art Parade in Soho, and Lower Manhattan. Five thousand book covers, each capturing a moment in New York City, were instantaneously printed on-site, effectively bringing together new technology with artistic vision as part of Creative Time: The Book.

Video by Matt Wolf courtesy Creative Time. To learn more go to creativetime.org.

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SundayArts is made possible in part by First Republic Bank and by the Rubin Museum of Art. Funding for SundayArts is also made possible by Rosalind P. Walter, The Paul and Irma Milstein Foundation, The Philip & Janice Levin Foundation, Elise Jaffe and Jeffrey Brown, Jody and John Arnhold, and The Lemberg Foundation. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Additional funding provided by members of THIRTEEN.
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