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"Interwoven" at Flatiron Plaza
Photograph: Courtesy of Instagram/mattrobertsny

This colorful piece of interactive public art is now on view in Flatiron

The illuminated piece will stay on view through the new year.

Written by
Anna Rahmanan

Lovers of art: the Flatiron is home to a new, only-in-NYC piece that is sure to delight you.

"Interwoven" is a new interactive installation by design firm Atelier Cho Thompson now on display in the Flatiron North Public Plaza on Broadway, Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street.

The piece, which seeks to celebrate the joys involved in being able to physically interact again, is the winner of the annual Flatiron Plaza Holiday Design Competition and will stay put through January 2, 2022.

The experience is made up of backlit papers that are hung on a grid and invite those walking by to share their response to the prompt: "I dream of a world where together we can..." According to an official press release regarding the installation, the specific prompt was selected by Youth Fellows from the People's Bus NYC, a community-led, intergenerational initiative that focuses on engaging people in the city's civic life "through beauty and joy."

In addition to the interactive story wall, the installation features a set of archways that are set off by color-coded sensors and through an intricate system that activates musical compositions by local artists inspired by the work's overall themes.

In terms of materials, the piece is entirely built of steel framing, netting, high-density cork and resin panels.

"Located at one of New York City’s most iconic intersections, the Flatiron North Plaza is the perfect setting for 'Interwoven,' an installation that provides a powerful, yet playful reminder that human interaction is essential," said James Mettham, the executive director of the Flatiron Partnership. The latter group joins the Van Alen Institute in presenting the annual competition.

As far as public art goes, New York City is clearly an example to follow. From street art to graffitis and even walking tours that bring you face-to-face with literary landmarks, the city is filled with artistic artifacts that deserve our attention. But there is something about interactive art, especially following a period of shutdown and cultural stagnation caused by a global pandemic that quite literally stopped life as we know it, that toggles at our heartstrings.

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