Chris Jordan “Locost Queue” Debuts from a Tower in Queens

New Yorkers will stand in line for many things; heavily frosted confections from the Cupcake Cafe, the new iPhone 17, or the chance to rub against a sweaty stranger on a light-crazed dance floor while paying 8 dollars for a plastic cup of ice. Since the superstorm Sandy hit last month, many of us have stood in line for food and blankets, and since the banking superstorm hit in ’09, many more have passed hours on the unemployment line. While we stand, sometimes we can feel time passing, the hands of the clock slowly waving past us incrementally as we fill out our forms or scroll through our electronic devices.  Light artist Chris Jordan is illuminating and projecting our waiting plight in his new installation at the top of a 14 story tower of a former bank in Queens.

Chris Jordan. “Locost Queue” LIC, Queens, New York. 2012. From the group exhibition “How Much Do I Owe You” Street view. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I’ve been working overtime on this installation, which on the surface is incredibly simple,” he says of his piece entitled ‘Locost Queue’, which debuted in darkness in Long Island City last night.

The forms are photographed silhouettes of people from the local neighborhood, marching slowly across the four 11-foot diameter clock faces. Describing the low cost piece that will run for 3 months as part of a group exhibition curated and produced by No Longer Empty, Jordan reveals some of the back story effort and planning that went into making this glowing show above Queens.

Chris Jordan. “Locost Queue” LIC, Queens, New York. 2012. From the group exhibition “How Much Do I Owe You”. For this installation Mr. Jordan fashioned a handmade four-way projector with a “reel” of silhouettes in continuous motion, projected on the four walls of the clock tower of the former Bank of Manhattan building. Indoor view. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“This has been anything but simple to accomplish, due to numerous constraints – including having to haul all the gear up three stories by rope, through a narrow hatch,” he says as he describes the grimy ladder and port-holed room. With an extremely limited budget, the resourceful designer had to forgo the powerful high cost projectors he is accustomed to working with and devise a decidedly old-fashioned approach to light projection. Ironically, as one stands in this dust-covered belfry on a chilly winter night it looks completely appropriate for a tower built in 1927, two years before last century’s bank-caused depression.

“Despite the challenges,” he says proudly as he surveys the shadows inside the drafty illuminated room, “it’s running, and looking pretty fantastic.”

Chris Jordan. “Locost Queue” LIC, Queens, New York. 2012. From the group exhibition “How Much Do I Owe You” Indoor view. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chris Jordan. “Locost Queue” LIC, Queens, New York. 2012. From the group exhibition “How Much Do I Owe You” Indoor view. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chris Jordan. “Locost Queue” LIC, Queens, New York. 2012. From the group exhibition “How Much Do I Owe You” Indoor view. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chris Jordan. “Locost Queue” LIC, Queens, New York. 2012. From the group exhibition “How Much Do I Owe You”. Tenth floor view. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chris Jordan. “Locost Queue” LIC, Queens, New York. 2012. From the group exhibition “How Much Do I Owe You”. Street view. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

View of NYC from a broken panel on one of the clock faces. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chris’ installation is part of the group exhibition titled “How Much Do I Owe You” curated and produced by No Longer Empty. To learn more details about this exhibition, the complete list of participating artists and about the programs and mission of No Longer Empty click here.

Viewing every evening from dusk to midnight through March 13, 2013.

This installation depicts a queue of people moving through the four clock faces at this historic clock tower in Queens Plaza. The speed correlates with the population increase of New York City.

Best viewing is from the park across the street from the building.

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