Animated light sculpture debuts in Madison Square Park

“Whiteout,” now on view at Madison Square Park (Photo courtesy of the Madison Square Park Conservancy)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The Madison Square Park Conservancy debuted the newest installation earlier this month, featuring a light project from artist Erwin Redl. The conservancy commissioned Redl to create “Whiteout,” which is displayed on the park’s central lawn and is a large-scale kinetic light sculpture made of white spheres suspended from a grid with steel poles and cabling. The orbs, hanging about a foot from the ground, sway in the wind and the LEDs are animated in large-scale patterns.

Redl is known for creating other large-scale light projects on the facades of buildings and he was first inspired by yarn drawings from minimalist conceptual artist Fred Sandback in 1997.

Redl said that he was fascinated by the option to have such a large installation in the park that is also within an urban environment.

“The physicality of the swaying orbs in conjunction with the abstract animations of their embedded white lights allows the public to explore a new, hybrid reality in this urban setting,” he said.

Madison Square Park Conservancy executive director Keats Meyer said that the installation is especially enjoyable during the dark winter months because it can show how light impacts space.

“Park goers will be able to view the industrial elegance of Whiteout from our pathways as they traverse the site,” she said. “Redl’s project, based on how light can impact a space, will be a beauteous interpretation of the Oval Lawn during the shortest days of the calendar year.”

Art consultancy firm UAP worked with Redl and the conservancy to fabricate the installation. The company, which has offices in Brisbane and Shanghai as well as New York, has also worked with artist Ai Wei Wei on the recent project in Washington Square Park, “Arch: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors.”

The Madison Square Park Conservancy launched public art programming through Mad. Sq. Art in 2004 and Redl’s installation is the 35th outdoor exhibition that the conservancy has organized. “Whiteout” will be on display through March 25, 2018.

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Teen charged with raping girl, 14, in building on E. 28th

Straus Houses (Photo via Google Maps)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested an 18-year-old man for allegedly raping a teenage girl inside a stairwell at the Straus Houses. Elijah Mclendon, 18, allegedly forced himself on a girl while they were inside the building at 344 East 28th Street on Nov. 10. He was arrested there on Nov. 15 at 3 a.m.

The district attorney’s office said that Mclendon held down the victim and pulled off her pants. He allegedly began to have sex with her while she repeatedly told him to stop, the victim told police.

The victim said that she told Mclendon that she had a sexually transmitted disease in an effort to get him to stop raping her.

According to the district attorney’s office, the victim was 14 years old at the time of the incident and Mclendon was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

Police said that neither the victim nor Mclendon live in the NYCHA complex and it was unclear how they got inside. Mclendon’s attorney did not respond to a call for comment on the case.

Phone scammers pretend to be police, con woman out of $30G

Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The 13th Precinct is warning residents about a new influx of phone scams after a local woman was conned out of $30,000 when she got a call from who she thought was the police.

Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney, commanding officer of the 13th Precinct, told people attending a meeting held by the precinct’s Community Council last Tuesday that the woman got a call from what she thought was the 81st precinct. The person calling her told her there was a warrant for her arrest and demanded payment in iTunes cards.

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