Times Square will become a giant, heat-sensitive camera every night this month, from 11:57 PM to midnight. Created by artist Peggy Ahwesh, City Thermogram unveils both NYC's electrical grid and the heat signatures of the human bodies that crowd its streets onto many of the largest billboards in the area. In a press release, Times Square Arts director Sherry Tobins describes Ahwesh’s work as “enormous energy x-rays of the life blood of Times Square.”
To capture these images, Ahwesh borrowed a thermal camera from Princeton’s MIRTHE Lab funded by the National Science Foundation. “I wandered with no particular goal, only amazement at the heat seeking bodies around me—people unaware of their energy potential—and the glow of the heat generating systems and devices we rely on—the cell phone, electrical power grid, the computer, steam as it rises from underground and hot summer streets,” she explains.
The installation is part of Midnight Moment, a series by The Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) and Times Square Arts. This particular iteration features an additional partnership with the Moving Image art fair.
Below, see the “life blood” of Times Square spring to life: