Posted On: April 1, 2010

Jim Campbell


Jim Campbell’s Scattered Light is a work in three parts, blanketing Madison Square Park’s Oval Lawn with a 3-D matrix of LED lights. Scattered Light, the largest of the three pieces, uses nearly  2,000 LED lights encased in standard bulb casings to  create a vibrant grid spanning twenty feet high and eighty feet wide across the center of the  Oval Lawn; bulbs, engineered to flicker at the command of computer programming, create the illusion of figures moving across the Park.

Scattered Light‘s second installation, Broken Window, situated near the main entrance to the Park  at 23rd Street and Fifth Avenue, is an array of LEDs encased in a glass brick wall. The work creates illuminated images that appear to glide across the glass plane, reflecting the surrounding movements of the city and echoing the aesthetic poetry of the Scattered Light installation.

Finally, as the third component of Campbell’s site-specific installation, the artist presents a visual symphony of light timed to pulse in rhythmic patterns reflective of the eclectic sounds of the urban subway. Voices in the Subway Station  features eighteen  glass tablets (14″ x 22″) lit from below by LEDs programmed to pulse at specific intervals and times, creating a visual orchestra of individual voices in the context of overlapping conversations and subway happenings. Together, these coordinated pulses symbolize the trademark sounds of rumbling subway trains. Voices in the Subway Station will be situated on the East Lawn, adjacent to Madison Avenue between 24th and 25th streets.  Both abstract and representational, sculptural and image based, Campbell’s approach to the concept of contemporary image-making as pixilation is at once elegantly simple and quintessentially contemporary.


About the Artist                                                                                                

Born 1965 in Chicago and educated at M.I.T., earning two degrees in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics, Jim Campbell’s inventive fusion of science and art is recognized worldwide. His work has been exhibited to great acclaim at institutions including The  Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Smithsonian, Whitney Museum of American Art, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He is the honored recipient of various public art commissions and awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship Award, Langlois Foundation Grant, and a Rockefeller Fellowship Award in Multimedia, among others. As an engineer, Campbell holds more than a dozen patents in the field of video image processing. His monograph Material Light was published by Hatje Cantz in 2010. Jim Campbell lives and works in San Francisco.

Jim Campbell is represented by Hosfelt, San Francisco and Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, New York.


Major Support for Mad. Sq. Art is provided by Founding Partners Agnes Gund and Anonymous.   Substantial Support is provided by Ronald A. Pizzuti, Toby Devan Lewis, Henry Luce Foundation, and Joseph S. and Diane H. Steinberg Charitable Trust. Support for Scattered Light is provided by Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, The Wall Street Journal, Time Out New York, Ace Hotel New York, Delta Air Lines, B.Z. and Michael Schwartz, and Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.   This project is supported in part with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.


New York Magazine

Sculpture Magazine

Wall Street Journal

Whitewall Magazine

Further Information

Hosfelt Gallery

Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery

Jim Campbell