London-based artists Ed Atkins, Haroon Mirza, and James Richards mounted their sizable art installation, An Echo Button, in the thick of Times Square. Claiming the massive Toshiba screens as their canvas, the artists showcased a series of video pieces that actively responded to the setting in which they were in, projecting a nonstop, multisensory experience. The commercialism and history that constantly infuse Times Square are the main subject matter in the video clips. Simultaneously, the signboards outside function as an “echo chamber,” highlighting each artist’s zeal to display sound in varying contexts while taking advantage of the multiplying powers of the Toshiba screens. The site-specific work explores the crossroads of multimedia installation on a titanic scale.
This is the first multimedia collaboration of this scale by the trio of emerging artists. All three artists came together for An Echo Button with varied specialties in the realm of visual and digital art. Ed Atkins focuses on high-definition drawing and writing to evoke a brand of surrealist corporeality that is only possible in a twenty-first century context. Major commissions include Art Now at Tate Britain and the Sculpture Center in New York. Haroon Mirza works primarily in fusing sound design and visual forms to create a cohesive discipline. Combining everyday objects and found items, he is able to create a graphic world for his original audio compositions. Major exhibitions include the Camden Arts Center and, in 2012, Spike Island in Bristol, UK. James Richards houses his artistic voice in the world of film: archiving, distorting, and remixing footage to create original art pieces. Known for mixing the highly personal with the predictably popular, he is able to give a singular voice to an otherwise generic series of visuals. Recent exhibitions include the Chisenhale Gallery in London. As a commission curated by Silvia Sgualdini for Performa 11, the ambitious work was co-presented by the Zabludowicz Collection.
– T. Sheena