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SU and Syracuse Stage unveil Urban Video Project installation at premiere of 'Tales from the Salt City'

October 16, 2008

Erica Blust
(315) 443-5891

Erica Blust

The Urban Video Project (UVP), a public arts initiative bringing art to the streets and buildings of Syracuse's Connective Corridor, will present a large-scale visual art installation in the windows of Syracuse Stage in the Regent Theater Complex, 820 E. Genesee St., beginning Friday, Oct. 17. The installation coincides with Stage's opening night of "Tales from the Salt City," a world premiere featuring seven local residents that was conceived and directed by theater innovator Ping Chong.

Urban Video ProjectUVP marks the first major installation of the Connective Corridor. An initiative of Syracuse University with technology partner Time Warner Cable, UVP will display artwork in Stage's atrium windows daily from dusk to 11 p.m. throughout the year. The initial installation will include original, motion-graphic artwork designed and created by students and faculty in SU's College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) and Educated Guess Work, an interactive design firm from Philadelphia that is providing project management and support to UVP.

Educated Guess Work designed the installation using an LED transparent mesh curtain, which covers a surface area of 300 square feet. Some 5,000 individual lights hang on the curtain, each composed of a red, green and blue LED, for an approximate total of 15,000 bulbs capable of 16 million color combinations. An interactive control system designed by Educated Guess Work translates video into a series of instructions for each bulb, telling it when to turn on and off. The result is a carefully controlled sequence timed to the millisecond that creates moving images. The control system also programs the work to rotate in a playlist format. Time Warner Cable is providing technological support.

"The Urban Video Project demonstrates what we can do in this community when we pool our talent and creativity," says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. "This all started with an idea generated by SU students that tapped the deep roots of video art in Syracuse, and it has been nurtured by a team of visionary leaders from across the community, including not only our own faculty, but 40-Below, Time Warner Cable and the Syracuse Public Art Commission. By collaborating broadly, together we're creating an innovative way to enliven the Connective Corridor and downtown using the arts as a catalyst."

"Syracuse Stage is thrilled to be the premiere collaborators on the Urban Video Project," says Timothy Bond, producing artistic director of Syracuse Stage and VPA's Department of Drama. "It is very fitting that this project will be launched during the world premiere of Ping Chong's 'Tales from the Salt City,' as Ping is an internationally known theater innovator who pioneered the use of video in his work. I would like to thank Syracuse University for their support of this project, and I look forward to all of the progressive aesthetic possibilities we will discover together as we celebrate Syracuse's diverse artistic community through the Urban Video Project."

First established in 2007 by the student artist team Avalanche Collective in VPA's Department of Transmedia, UVP has developed into one of the first permanent series of urban projection installations in the United States. Several UVP venues along the Corridor are being developed, including the Monroe Building at 333 E. Onondaga St.; the Onondaga Historical Association building at 321 Montgomery St.; and the John H. Mulroy Civic Center Theatres at Oncenter. Organizers are planning an event in downtown Syracuse later this fall for the launch of these next three installations; details will be announced closer to the time of the event. The Syracuse Public Art Commission will review and approve all UVP work to be shown.

Additional information about UVP is available at

"Tales from the Salt City" runs through Tuesday, Nov. 2, in the John D. Archbold Theatre. For tickets, show times and more information, visit

The Connective Corridor is emerging as a signature strip of cutting-edge cultural development connecting the University Hill with downtown Syracuse. It is home to three major universities and more than 25 arts and cultural venues, all in close proximity to one another. In the coming months and years, these venues will be stitched together and showcased with new urban landscapes, bike paths, imaginative lighting, public and interactive art, signage and way-finding systems.

Partners in the Corridor project include U.S. Rep. Jim Walsh; U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton; Gov. David Paterson; the New York State Assembly, led by Assemblyman William Magnarelli; the City of Syracuse; National Grid, lead corporate partner; Syracuse University; and Time Warner Cable.

During the academic year, Centro offers the Connective Corridor shuttle bus, a free service to all riders commuting between destinations along the Corridor. For more information on the Connective Corridor, visit

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