Since 1919, The New School has been home to scholars, creators, and activists who challenge convention and boldly make their mark on the world.
To celebrate this groundbreaking legacy, we are opening our doors to the public for a weeklong festival of innovative performances, talks, workshops, screenings, exhibitions, and more.

On October 1–6, 2019, join us as we reflect on a century of world-changing ideas and together imagine a new kind of future.

The Festival of New is free and open to all.
Friday, October 4 • 1:00pm - 1:15pm
New Babel: AR Public Art Installation

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Feedback form is now closed.
A.R. ART: New Babel, an Augmented Reality (AR) public art installation by William T. Ayton, transforms the heart of NYC into an immersive art environment. Imagine a towering fusion of original art, emerging technology, and digital media, soaring nearly 1000’ high, yet held in the palm of your hand. This pilot AR installation is a tribute to The New School’s role in catalyzing social change, and as an homage to New York City as a global center for towers of knowledge, creative freedom, enterprise, and in-gathering. 

Activated in and around Union Square Park in NYC, its AR elements offer new ways to view themes of universal human rights, fundamental freedoms, collaborative innovation, creative expression, and intellectual inquiry. Created by artist William T. Ayton, in collaboration with The New School’s Global Catalyst Senior Fellow, Diana Ayton-Shenker, New Babel was incubated in coordination with TNS  XReality Center, produced by Global Momenta and other supporting partners. 

The installation centerpiece is an AR skyscraper-tall structure, a colossal, six-tiered New Babel Tower soaring approximately 60 stories high (627’), representing humanity’s collective collaboration and aspiration of upholding a new world. Rooted in the ground of Union Square Park, the tower reaches up toward an emergent AR world, depicted as a multi-colored, diaphanous sphere, a revolving globe in the sky, hovering above New Babel. The globe’s surface is texture-mapped with Ayton’s original painting used on the book cover of A New Global Agenda by Diana Ayton-Shenker. 

The New World globe is 360’ in diameter, slightly exceeding the base of the tower, illuminating the sky above the interior of Square. New Babel’s central tower will be surrounded by additional AR art framing the perimeter of  Union Square Park with “Four Freedoms ReNewed,” a series of four AR billboards, and the “UDHR” wraparound banner of human rights. Freedoms ReNewed are large-scale, AR “billboard” panels flanking each side of the Square with an updated rendering of Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms: Freedom from Want, Freedom from Fear, Freedom of Expression, and Freedom of Thought.  An AR ribbon will wrap around the Square, encircling the central structure with the Ayton UDHR series of 30 images illuminating the 30 Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (during its 70th Anniversary year).

How to see New Babel: 
New Babel is designed to be viewable via hand-held devices (phones, tablets, etc.) and accessed via poster-based scan codes distributed throughout the square, or through a pre-downloaded app. Access is free to the public.


William T. Ayton

William T. Ayton is a British artist based in New York, born and raised in rural Yorkshire & Lancashire, England. Ayton attended Edinburgh College of Art where he studied Fine Arts (B.A. Honours in Drawing & Painting). After college, he lived & worked in Europe (Paris, Madrid, Edinburgh... Read More →

Friday October 4, 2019 1:00pm - 1:15pm EDT
Union Square