For the next few months, artists will have a chance to display their digital work on the iconic PECO Building’s crown lights.
The opportunity comes from Art in the Air, a joint project between University City Science Center‘s Breadboard technology arts program and PECO. Each month through December, three selected digital art pieces will be displayed on First Friday atop the building, which is situated on Market Street along the Schuylkill River and which is a striking part of the city’s skyline.
PECO installed its iconic LED signage to replace an older technology in late 2008 and officially lit the billboard on the Fourth of July, last year. The board is made up of 118 40-foot long LED columns, according to Eastern Sign Tech, LLC, the Atlantic City-based company that installed the setup.
In August, Northern Liberties-based digital media firm Klip Collective won honors, along with Tyler grad Jamie Dillon and Kean University’s Brian Oakes.
“When they changed it, I missed the old PECO building. The ads all looked the same, like a PC presentation from 1991,” Klip Principal and Creative Director Ricardo Rivera says. “So I’m stoked that they’re putting some actual art up there, because it’s a great iconic canvas for digital media.”
As for the art itself, Rivera says the firm took apart some of its old footage to create Klip’s submission, which features a video of goldfish multiplied and mirrored in an abstract way, seen below.
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Rivera says that Klip submitted its art on a whim for the original 2009 launch of the digital billboard. Though they weren’t chosen for the first round, they received props — and an installation run — this time around.
Though the technical requirements of the billboard are strange — a wide format 2224-pixel by 360-pixel resolution at 72 dpi — Rivera says that it was easy enough to translate the firm’s other work into the format.
“I deal with weird formats everyday,” he says. “It wasn’t that much of a stretch because I do architectural video all the time.”
Indeed, Klip — made of 3 staffers and a handful of interactive media freelancers — focuses on architectural installations, like its Miami Beach installation for Motorola during 2010’s Super Bowl XLIV, shown in the video below. The firm even holds a patent on video mapping on and around objects from one projector.
Artists hoping to land their art on the signage for September’s First Friday are asked to apply by August 24, and more information is available at Breadboard’s website. Only tri-state area artists will be accepted.
Below, Klip’s Miami Beach installation.