Giant rotating prisms transform Broadway in the Garment District into colorful winter kaleidoscope

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Giant rotating prisms transform Broadway in the Garment District into colorful winter kaleidoscope
The Garment District Alliance unveils free public art installation created by RAW Design in collaboration with ATOMIC3. Photo: Alexandre Ayer / @diversitypics for the Garment District Alliance.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Garment District Plazas have been transformed into a glimmering winter kaleidoscope, as the Garment District Alliance unveiled Prismatica, an immersive art installation comprised of 25 pivoting prisms that reflect the colors of the rainbow. As pedestrians walk through the exhibition, the six-foot-tall, multi-colored prisms fill the plazas with reflections and musical sounds, creating an ever-changing light show.

Located on Broadway in the Garment District between 39th and 40th Streets, Prismatica is free and will be available to the public through January 30th.

“As our city continues to fight against this pandemic and recover, it was important for us to kick off a new, fresh year by introducing a bright and colorful public art installation to the heart of Midtown Manhattan that would inspire New Yorkers to remain hopeful and resilient,” said Barbara A. Blair, president of the Garment District Alliance. “Prismatica is truly a captivating exhibition that will be sure to delight all who visit the Garment District while providing a safe and socially-distanced outdoor experience this winter.”

The interactive installation creates an enchanting atmosphere along the plazas, putting visitors at the center of the experience. Glimmering by day and atmospheric by night, the prisms are six feet tall, made of panels covered with a dichroic film that reflect the colors of the rainbow, and emit light and a variable-intensity soundtrack of bell sounds when rotated.

Prismatica was created by RAW Design in collaboration with ATOMIC3, with Dix au Carré leading the sound design, lighting design by ATOMIC3 and Jean-François Piché, and production and technical direction by ATOMIC3 and Louis Héon. It was first presented as part of the fifth edition of Luminothérapie in 2014-2015, at the Place des Festivals in Montreal’s Quartier des Spectacles.

The installation is part of Garment District Art on the Plazas, a year-round public art program made possible through the NYC Department of Transportation’s Art Program (DOT Art). The Garment District Alliance and DOT Art work closely to coordinate and install exhibits and individual pieces, which enhance public plazas and make them even more welcoming to New Yorkers and visitors.

Previous installations include Impulse by Lateral Office and CS Design, a number of over-sized, illuminated seesaws presented in 2020 that enabled visitors to create their own light show in the heart of Midtown; Iceberg by ATOMIC3, a series of illuminated metallic arches presented in 2019 that symbolized the lifecycle of an iceberg; and LOOP by Olivier Girouard, Jonathan Villeneuve and Ottoblix, an immersive exhibit presented in early 2018 that invited the public to bring animated flipbook-style musical movies to life by activating large, retro-futuristic cylinders.

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