New York Minute - Definition
The smallest measurable amount of time in the universe. Approximately equal to the time between a traffic light turning green in New York City and the cab driver behind you honking his horn.
A minute past midnight in SoHo, I am stopped by a lady with a stroller. “You’re an artist I can tell and I want to read you. For free of course, because this is no coincidence. I have a rooftop on Water Street. Drop by sometime”.
So I do, bringing a camera and tripod. While Jane the Psychic is talking about my future, I can tell it is already around me. It is the golden light filtered through the distance of the greater New York area, beaming up to the hundred storey High Rise on which I am sitting at the rooftop. The light will glow for months. Glow on the backlit of my camera, on the screen on my computer and on the white wall eventually. It glows as I reconstruct those moments collected around that rooftop, from distances overlooking the city. From here I can see everything but I am not only looking out but back at the vantage point itself.
Far below lies Wall Street and Zuccotti Park. While I am up above, protesters are forming a movement of bodies, ideas, transactions and relations. I end up there a few times. First time I am brought by an artist friend who wants to join the protest. The next time I am at a masquerade in an adjacent hotel. Another time I go on a city tour of halted luxury condos waiting until enough people can pay for living there. The tour ends in “Liberty Square”, the old name of the site. And finally I go there to cash a check in a private bank. Every time I take photos, collecting moments of this scenery. What does it look like – bodies occupying a space in the heart of the metropolis? I ask myself and wonder how it all will come together.
And I can hear the protesters from the top of Williamsburg Bridge. Believe it or not, but I can hear all parts of Manhattan, sounds congregating in the steel wires of suspense, echoing and amplified under the belly of the huge structure. When in an inspired mood, I hear them as a harsh choir in the space that echoes like a modernistic cathedral. Coming down from it one night I am halted in Lower East Side. A concrete truck has hit a fire hydrant. The construction site is swept in thick fog as an accidental Fountain Lower East Side-style is making the fire hydrant dance in the cascades. And the water that is flooding the streets is painted with reds, golds and greens from the neon lights that could make the whole block tear up as the residents are staring through their cell phone cameras. But from my points of views, those drops of water shooting out will be hanging in the air for a suspended New York minute.
David Molander, 2013
The photographs, film clips and sound in these works was collected in New York late 2011 and early 2012. They were shot at the top of Water Street, in Zuccotti Park, on and under Williamsburg Bridge and by Rivington Street/Orchard Street on the Lower East Side.
Thanks to Gabriel Sjöberg for sound mixing and Nina Leger for recording.