Zach Blas: The Doors: Lizard Kings

Featuring Video Works by Artists Zach Blas (June), Victoria Fard (July), and Scott Eaton (August)

Times Square Arts, the largest public platform for contemporary performance and visual arts, is pleased to present their Midnight Moment Summer Season featuring by digital works by multidisciplinary artists Zach Blas (June), Victoria Fard (July), and Scott Eaton (August).

Midnight Moment is the world’s largest, longest-running digital art exhibition, synchronized on over 90 electronic billboards throughout Times Square nightly from 11:57pm to midnight. The Summer 2023 program features video works touching on themes of counterculture and the tech industry, finding sanctuary in a virtual landscape, and the complexity of our data-saturated contemporary existence.


Zach Blas: The Doors: Lizard Kings
June 1-30, 2023 | Nightly 11:57pm-Midnight

Metallic crystal-ridged lizards prowl and skitter across the screens of Times Square in The Doors: Lizard Kings by Zach Blas. Featuring five fantastical computer generated creatures choreographed across 63 distinct channels, June’s Midnight Moment stems from Blas’s 2019 immersive media installation The Doors, a work exploring psychedelia, drug use, artificial intelligence, and Silicon Valley’s connections to California counterculture from the 1960s.

Slimy, glowing, and covered with mineral elements modeled after nickeline and tungsten, each of the five rendered reptiles takes on distinct personalities derived from AI neural networks trained on a constellation of sources, including Aldous Huxley’s 1954 novel The Doors of Perception and the 1960s California psychedelic rock band The Doors. Blas modeled the creatures after the prehistoric Barbaturex morrisoni, a now extinct lizard named after The Doors frontman Jim Morrison, a play on Morrison’s epithet “The Lizard King” and a prominent symbol of psychedelic liberation in the 1960s. As the lizards move through black mirrored passageways, Blas sees them as traveling in time between the psychedelic culture of the past and the trends of the present.

Victoria Fard: MILAGRO | PAYAPA (2023)
July 1-30, 2023 | Nightly 11:57pm-Midnight

This July, artist Victoria Fard brings her intricate and mesmerizing digital worlds to Times Square. In MILAGRO | PAYAPA, Fard utilizes generative processes and digital simulations to form a sublime ecosystem and an invitation into a sanctuary of wooden kubos, prodigious arowana fish, and pastel skyscrapers amidst pockets of flowering plants, wild creatures and a lush hybrid landscape.

An immersive, fantastical world of accelerated growth where nature has become seamlessly interconnected with the environment, MILAGRO | PAYAPA— ‘Milagro,’ meaning ‘miracle’ in Filipino and Spanish, and ‘Payapa,’ meaning ‘peaceful’ in Filipino — is inspired by elements of the artist’s personal heritage, and is intended as a sanctuary of peace, unearthing fragments of imagined futures and embodied childhood memories.

Scott Eaton: Intersections
August 1-30, 2023 | Nightly 11:57pm-Midnight

Partnership with Meta

This August in Times Square, a shifting landscape of golden lines cascades across the screens at a massive scale in Scott Eaton’s Intersections. With sharp angles and glowing hues that intermittently evoke Art Deco architecture and the layered street grids of New York City, the kaleidoscopic networks of Intersections seem to have no beginning or end, unifying the disparate displays as the work takes over Times Square.

The dramatically evolving geometry comes from a simple source: a single QR code for an event long past that Eaton found without context in an alleyway. A reminder of our data-saturated contemporary existence, the source image was animated, distorted, and processed through endless iterations of geometric abstraction and machine learning until the original starting point was completely obscured – just as a seed is unrecognizable in the plant it becomes. Set among the displays of Times Square and their layers of electronic information, the result is a meditation on the complexity and unknowability of the digital landscapes that surround us.

Scott Eaton’s work marks the first in a series of four artist projects presented in partnership with Meta, through 2024.

Zach Blas (b. Point Pleasant, West Virginia) is an artist, filmmaker, and writer whose practice spans moving image, computation, theory, performance, and science fiction. Blas engages the materiality of computational technologies while also drawing out the philosophies and imaginaries lurking in artificial intelligence, biometric recognition, predictive policing, airport security, the Internet. Blas has exhibited, lectured, and held screenings at venues internationally, including the 12th Berlin Biennale, Walker Art Center, Tate Modern, British Art Show 9, 12th Gwangju Biennale, de Young Museum, the 68th Berlin International Film Festival, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, ICA London, Van Abbemuseum, e-flux, ZKM Center for Art and Media, and Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. His practice has been supported by a Creative Capital award in Emerging Fields, the Arts Council England, Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst, and the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council. His work is in the collections of Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, and Whitney Museum of American Art. Blas’s practice has been written about and featured in ArtforumFriezeArtReviewBBCThe Guardian, and The New York Times. His 2021 artist monograph Unknown Ideals is published by Sternberg Press. Blas is an Assistant Professor of Visual Studies in the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto.

Victoria Fard is an award-winning artist based in Canada specializing in architecture and digital technologies. Rooted in her own mixed Filipino and Persian heritage, Fard’s imagined worlds present a visual and immersive experience that invites connection, exploration and reflection. Fard integrates elements produced with digital and generative tools to create fantastical 3D worlds and sculptures. Her work explores the themes of nature and heritage with the hope of preserving them and connecting people through immersive forms of storytelling. Fard’s work has been featured and exhibited at The Ontario Science Centre, Art Basel Miami, Frieze L.A., and at galleries and immersive spaces in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Denver, Toronto, Amsterdam and Zürich.

Scott Eaton is an American artist living and working in London, UK. His work explores our increasingly complex relationship with our technology by transforming and remixing our data into artistic experiences. He exhibits internationally and his art and designs have been featured in Wired Magazine, GQ, Vogue, Vanity Fair, and the New York Times. In addition to his own projects, Scott frequently collaborates with other artists and studios. Clients include Disney, Sony, Nvidia, Meta and others. Scott studied at MIT and the Royal College of Art.

Meta builds technologies that help people connect, find communities, and grow businesses. When Facebook launched in 2004, it changed the way people connect. Apps like Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp further empowered billions around the world. Now, Meta is moving beyond 2D screens toward immersive experiences like augmented and virtual reality to help build the next evolution in social technology.

Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance, collaborates with contemporary artists and cultural institutions to experiment and engage with one of the world’s most iconic urban places. Through the Square’s electronic billboards, public plazas, vacant areas and popular venues, and the Alliance’s own online landscape, Times Square Arts invites leading contemporary creators, such as Charles Gaines, Joan Jonas, Jeffrey Gibson, Pamela Council, Mel Chin and Kehinde Wiley, to help the public see Times Square in new ways. Times Square has always been a cultural district and place of risk, innovation and creativity, and the arts program ensures these qualities remain central to the district’s unique identity.