Paste attended the unveiling of Microsoft’s new culture wall collaboration. At their flagship store in New York, the culture wall is an expansive, 40 foot screen, greeting Fifth Avenue passersby. And while the wall’s been displaying digital imagery since 2015, last night marked something special—Microsoft’s first collaboration with an artist, and a Brooklyn-based one at that. Tabor Robak, who started his career as a graphic designer, working with brands like Nike and T-Mobile, has been working on his piece, “Sundial,” since Microsoft approached him last November.
“It’s a very straightforward piece about color, light and nature,” Robak said, minutes before the digital art piece was unveiled. The idea, which he explained he came up with during the dead of winter, a strong desire to “bring fresh weather to Fifth Avenue” fueling him, is that “Sundial” reacts to different times of day, and the changing color palettes that accompany them. The piece lights up the busy street 24 hours a day, inspiring those on their way to work, buzzing in and out of stores or wandering through a sleepless night. It all comes back to the projects aim, to bring digital art to the community, and the community to digital art.
While Robak’s piece is the first of its kind, Microsoft seems no doubt excited to have it there, as well as anticipatory of the public’s reaction, and a goal to continue with other artists in the future. When I walked out, I crossed the street to observe “Sundial.” Standing in the middle of the sidewalk, I watched it seamlessly dance through color palettes, lighting up the chilly New York night. On view for the foreseeable future, view it for yourself at Microsoft’s flagship store.
Microsoft Store – Fifth Avenue: 677 Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10022
Brittany Joyce is Paste’s Style Editor.