A new, very unique, piece of public art just made its debut at Flatiron Plaza at 23rd Street between Broadway and Fifth Avenue—and it requires New Yorkers' touch to be activated.
Dubbed "Control No Control," the large-scale interactive installation was created by digital art studio Iregular and it will be on view through January 1, 2024. Originally created in Montreal for the Igloofest music festival in 2011, the work has since been presented over 35 times all over the world.
The piece consists of a huge LED cube that, according to an official press release, "reacts to everything that touches it and every movement performed on its surface."
Upon each interaction, a bunch of patterns and sounds emerge from the structure. Perhaps even more noteworthy is the fact that 48 people can play around with the cube at once, basically creating a unique collection of images and sounds that can virtually never be replicated.
The purpose of the piece is an exploration of that exact relationship between viewers and immersive installations.
"['Control No Control'] tests the artwork's ability to intrinsically 'instruct' and delegate the final audio-visual result to the audience that ends up gaining control of the piece," reads the press release.
Interestingly, the world-wide interactions with the giant cube led to the discovery that "people all over the globe then to behave the same way around [it]. This in turn suggests the ability for the artwork to influence the public as well, highlighting the back-and-forth blurred nature of the control relationship."
Humans are, it seems, much more alike than they probably like to admit.
"Control No Control" is the centerpiece of a larger program called Winter Glow that is presented by the Flatiron NoMad Partnership alongside the New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program (NYC DOT Art).
The project features a series of events and activations for all ages, including the tree lighting ceremony in Madison Square Park this Wednesday, December 6, at 4pm, a silent disco night on Thursday, December 14 and a winter solstice celebration presented in partnership with the National Museum of Mathematics on December 21.
To learn more about the full schedule of Winter Glow events, click here.