Spirit of the City is a site-specific installation by United Visual Artists (UVA) investigating the physical and emotional response people experience when navigating an urban environment.
The installation is a modular system of revolving mirrored columns set on a grid configuration. Through the orchestrated rotation of these columns, dynamic compositions of movement, reflection, light and shadow constantly transform the space, articulating a seemingly organic behavour that is poetically linked to New York City’s dynamic activity.
The combined rotation of the columns is orchestrated to create different patterns of motion, expressing a number of moods that range from dormant to hectic—playful to chaotic. These patterns of movement unfold during a 24-hour cycle that has been pre-programmed to reflect the daily activity of New York, based on selected data that reveals levels of human activity in the city, such as energy demand patterns and traffic flow.
Challenging human perception, UVA aim to stir visitors towards a visceral reaction, as they move through the installation. Ultimately, the piece alludes to the mutual influence between people and the cities they live in.