Pedestrian by Shelley Eshkar and Paul Kaiser
February 13 - March 23, 2002
540 W. 21st St.
Pedestrian is a public art project of site-specific, projected installations presented simultaneously in three locations in New York City - in the galleries at Eyebeam in Chelsea and at two outdoor venues; at Rockefeller Plaza in Midtown, and The Studio Museum in Harlem.
Created by artists Shelley Eshkar and Paul Kaiser and co-produced by Eyebeam and Art Production Fund, Pedestrian presents miniature, computer-generated moving figures projected directly onto the ground from above, providing a bird's-eye view of pedestrian traffic. These projected "pedestrians" interact to form patterns, crowds and streams that evolve unpredictably, almost organically, as if having lives of their own. Figures stand, watch, meet, sit, push, move away, sometimes run, or perhaps even lie down according to spontaneous rules of motion and engagement. Pedestrian builds on advanced technology, combining motion-capture, 3-D modeling software, texture mapping to visually enrich surface detail, behavioral rules devised by the artists to drive the action, and an overarching cinematic framework.
Pedestrian depicts a solid and almost tactile world within the pavement you walk upon. It's medium is that of a projected image directly onto the pavement. Instead of a sober rectangle, spectators form a dynamic human perimeter around the work. These are conscious choices to emphasize the work's physicality, and to have our own presence essentially complete the artwork; we and Pedestrian generate a unique crowd footprint in the real world.