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Rashaad Newsome examines the crossroads of hip-hop and video art in Times Square
The Conductor (Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi). Photo: Courtesy of Ka-Man Tse for @TSqArts.

NEW YORK, NY.- Rashaad Newsome brings his exploration of hip-hop’s unspoken gestural language, The Conductor (Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi), to Times Square’s electronic billboards from 11:57 pm to midnight each night in September. This project is a part of Midnight Moment, a monthly presentation by The Times Square Advertising Coalition and Times Square Arts.

The Conductor (Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi) consists of footage capturing the hand gestures of top hip-hop MCs from over one hundred music videos. The footage has been digitally enhanced and re‐edited to track the motion of the artists’ hands. The audio is a composite of consistent sounds in recordings by artists deemed “Hip-Hop greats” in a 2005 survey conducted by local New York radio stations Hot 97 and 105.1. These sounds are then weaved in and out of Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana.”

For two special nights - September 22 and 28 – there will be a filmed gathering with the artist and recording artists he considers the next generation of Hip-Hop.

Artist Rashaad Newsome, said: "In some ways this piece is a remix of “Carmina Burana”, widely considered to be the most epic choral piece to date. The remix is informed by whom New Yorkers consider the most epic MCs to date. So it must be shown in the most epic NYC site to date.”

Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, said, “Times Square has long been at the forefront of many forms of artistic expression in New York. Newsome brings the innovative crossroads of hip-hop and video art to the world’s Crossroads at Times Square.”

Sherry Dobbin, Times Square Arts Director, said, “Newsome is a rare artist who successfully traverses the art, music & fashion worlds to create a fresh perspective in contemporary art exhibition.”

Fred Rosenberg, President of the Times Square Advertising Coalition said, “The Conductor’s repeated gestures link the screens, demonstrating the power of Midnight Moment in Times Square.”

The following digital screens are participating in the September Midnight Moment:
ABC SuperSign, American Eagle Times Square, Bank of America, Branded Cities 7 Times Square, Branded Cities NASDAQ Tower Times Square, Branded Cities Thomson Reuters, Outfront Media 1515 Broadway/ Viacom North & South, CEMUSA, City Outdoor, Clear Channel Spectacolor HD127/CNN, Clear Channel Spectacolor HD128, Disney Store Spectacular, Sherwood Equities 1 Times Square, Superior Digital Displays Three Times Square #5, Superior Digital Displays Triple Play

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