Innovation That Matters

Enlisting the crowds to turn Times Square into Art Square

Fashion & Beauty

Demonstrating Broadway-sized ambition, a group of (mostly Dutch) bloggers and designers aims to turn New York’s Times Square into a huge public art show. The goal of Times Square to Art Square / TS2AS is as straightforward as it is lofty: instead of broadcasting commercial messages, the Times Square billboards should beam out artwork. TS2AS, which just launched, is currently asking artists to upload images and videos to its Flickr and Vimeo pools. Next come the crowd and money parts: the artists’ fans are requested to donate money for billboard time, buying their artist a few minutes of jumbotron bandwidth. Even without running the numbers on what a Times Square minute would cost, the mission seems entirely impossible. After admitting their outsized ambition, TS2AS explains why the project might just work: “If every artist starts to promote the idea within his or her network, we’ll get an enormous group of people. And that means power, money, and quite possibly the realization of [Justus Bruns’] idea. We’re going to show the world what the buzzword ‘crowdsourcing’ really stands for.” And we’ll be watching! (Related: ‘Stock market’ for art to crowdfund 10 public projectsCrowds judge world’s biggest art prizeCrowd-buying a soccer teamVideo art on the MTV HD screen in Times Square.)



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