Times Square’s Electronic Billboards Will Become Karaoke Screens This Month
For the latest Midnight Moment, Philadelphia artist Alex Da Corte turns a karaoke performance of the song “Blue Moon” into surreal video art.
Images courtesy Times Square Arts and Times Square Advertising Coalition
Rodgers and Hart's classic song “Blue Moon” becomes a surreal, theatrical karaoke session for the latest Midnight Moment on Time Square’s electronic billboards. Each night from 11:57pm to midnight, Philadelphia artist Alex Da Corte can be seen crooning the tune while holding a crescent moon and lettuce-shaped microphone against a bright blue background, while the lyrics scroll at the bottom of the screens. Da Corte’s Blue Moon billboard takeover is part of the Whitney Museum’s exhibition Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905-2016.
“Blue Moon depicts a person singing karaoke into a microphone on fire,” Da Corte tells The Creators Project. “The singer, costumed as a Moon, sings the song ‘Blue Moon,' a contemplative love song about alienation, longing, and desire.”
Da Corte says he always liked the performance aspect of karaoke, mostly because he describes himself as a bad singer and admires this lack of talent in others as well. For Da Corte, the karaoke stage is a place for good and bad singers of the world to unite in a safe space.
As Whitney Museum curator Chrissie Iles says of Da Corte’s Midnight Moment, the video creates a “dreamlike cinematic presence” that is also a nod to the movie theaters and stages of Time Square from the 1930s to the 1950s.
"I thought it apt to make a karaoke video for Time Square where the sound of the city would overpower any karaoke song of choice,” says Da Corte. “It allows the performance to be without flaws, an ideal, an American Idol… like watching someone land on the Moon.”
“What can be said about a Moon who sings for another Moon? What can be done if the Moon one sings to is also alone?” he muses. “What does the Moon long for in us? What does the night sky see? How does the night sky feel? What strange currencies exist between two poles? Can we break through this invisible field of desire? Can we break through the screen of our fantasies?”
Alex Da Corte’s Blue Moon runs from 11:57 to midnight on Time Square billboards until February 28th.
Click here to see more of Alex Da Corte’s work.