Artist harnesses Times Square LED displays

Artist harnesses Times Square LED displaysWhile the large scale LED displays in New York's Times Square are better known for their advertising content than their artistic value, recently they have been converted from their usual commercial purposes to form part of the latest work from famed British agent provocateur, Tracey Emin.

Emin shot to prominence in the 1990s with various high profile pieces, including My Bed and Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963-1995.

Now at age 49, she is taking stock of her evolving sexuality and changing opinions, according to the Chicago Reader, by using Times Square's large LED displays to host a work called I Promise I Love You.

This project kicked off on Valentine's Day and will be running for a month, with the big screens used to etch mini messages penned by Emin across the New York skyline.

Although LED displays are being used, the style of the messages is very much derived from neon signs, which is a medium that Emin has embraced at various points in her career.

Although the messages are all on the topic of love and tend towards seeming superficially soppy, there is definitely an undercurrent of double meanings, which can turn relatively simple phrases on their head.

This is to be expected of something from Emin, who has often reflected with slight regret on her past romantic entanglements through her art, even if she has also embraced her own sexuality as a form of empowerment.

This kind of major public art exhibition is made all the more visible not only because of its prominent position, but also as a result of the medium through which it is being conveyed.

It will be interesting to see if the LED displays of Times Square continue to host artistic endeavours alongside advertisements.

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