OCULUS

USA, New York, New York

- 2002
Video projected on ceiling of Grand Central Terminal.
Detail of two-channel video projection.
Crowd busting below installation in Grand Central Terminal.
Diagrams of projection showing path of the birds.
Grand Central Terminal projection
Projection detail
Bustling crowd in terminal
Projection diagrams

Design Team

Jordan Parnass

Consultants

Collaboration with Melanie Crean.

Photography

Jordan Parnass

Oculus is a two channel video installation commissioned by Creative Time, created in collaboration with artist Melanie Crean. Grand Central Terminal is a critical point of confluence for the thousands of people who travel to and from New York every day. The installation dynamically engages specific architectural features of the ceiling, including the arched windows and barrel vault structure, and highlights the existing tapestry of illuminated stars and constellations. Activating the entire ceiling, Oculus suggests an alternative reading for the interior of New York’s grandest public space.

The artwork uses dual computer-controlled video projectors to create a virtual stage set on the illuminated sky ceiling above the main concourse. A digital shooting star grows to form a large oculus, through which successive waves of white doves escape in an escalating frenzy of release. Positioned directly above the station’s enormous suspended American flag, the project uses Grand Central’s architecture, combined with highly detailed digital animation to make a statement about political possibilities in turbulent times.