Breakfast New York City is an interactive installation in Midtown Manhattan that both mimics and responds to interactive movement. Located that the intersection of 32nd Street and 6th Avenue, this installation is a revival of an antique sign technology that utilizes over 40,000 metallic spinning dots on a computerized surface to broadcast messages, including scrolling text and images. Because of its analog technology, the mechanism that is analogous to digital pixels, actually mimics the movement and rotation of pistons on a mechanical engine. The dots are either black or white, depending on which side is exposed, creating a binary that, when taken in aggregate and seen from afar, render images and text. This literal movement, however, from black to white, is done so through mechanical means, creating various clicks, like those made on a typewriter.

The digital systems, however, interrupt the analog by allowing the interface to respond to movement located directly in front of the display. Through these means, the display is able to respond to passersby, traffic, and all manner of stimuli, which then interrupt and dematerialize the scrolled information. This system creates a highly unique, ever-changing display of information that takes on the character of urban life. This project features highly-tactile, digitally derived displays that are manifested through analog, mechanical movements. The installation responds to spontaneous urban life through the articulation and juxtaposition of these digital processes and analog displays. The following video previews the installation in greater detail.

Leave a Reply