“From coastal resiliency and sustainable green practices to the preservation of affordable housing, world-class public art, and vibrant, year-round programming in award-winning public spaces, Battery Park City leads the way in many of the measures that makes cities livable."

Raju Mann

President & CEO
  • 04/25
  • Art & Culture
  • Community
  • Environment


Shuli Sadé’s “Bird’s-Eye View” is Battery Park City’s first art installation to use augmented reality

Builds on Authority’s commitment to public art & environmental advocacy

On Earth Day 2022 the Battery Park City Authority unveiled its first public art installation featuring augmented reality (AR) technology, titled Bird’s-Eye View by New York City-based artist Shuli Sadé. Located at various sites along Battery Park City’s riverfront starting from South Cove and extending north along Rockefeller Park, Bird’s-Eye View is a temporary art installation inspired by the migration patterns of more than 30 species of birds that seek temporary or permanent refuge near Manhattan’s waterways.

Designed to explore AR as a new art medium, the installation uses photographs and original watercolors by Sadé to bring Battery Park City’s wildlife directly to the viewer’s smartphone. Using the Adobe Aero app and a smartphone camera, viewers can scan 70 QR codes placed on 14 different signs along the water to view local birds while exploring their habitats and migratory patterns. Bird’s-Eye View opens on Earth Day, April 22, 2022 featuring an artist talk with Sadé and a flamenco guitar performance at South Cove from 5-7PM. An artist talk with acclaimed environmentalist and artist Mary Miss, one of the co-designers of South Cove, will take place on May 6, 2022.

“Our strategic plan charges us with both establishing Battery Park City as a biodiversity haven and bringing to our community temporary art installations that transform our public space, encourage social cohesion, and promote awareness about cultural and civic challenges. We are delighted to bring Bird’s-Eye View to our waterfront for those dual purposes,” said B.J. Jones, President & CEO of the Battery Park City Authority. “Through augmented reality and limited impact on our physical environment, this installation highlights the myriad species of birds that – thanks to the Authority’s sustainability, horticulture, and resiliency efforts – call our community home. After taking in Ms. Sadé’s brilliant work along the Esplanade, we invite Battery Park City residents and visitors to look for these birds and other wildlife in our 36 acres of world-class parks and public spaces and share their observations on the iNaturalist app.”

Inspired by Battery Park City’s vibrant environment, home to birds, insects and other animals, Sadé aims to showcase this urban oasis through the power of visual storytelling. Bird’s-Eye View reimagines the constant flow of birds above the Hudson River and along Battery Park City’s gardens and parks by using augmented reality to connect wildlife to viewers. In addition to referencing photographs, Sadé utilized scientific drawings, sounds and migration maps, courtesy of the Audubon Society, to bring this installation to life. Upon scanning the QR codes with a smartphone camera, viewers will hear birdsong and see images of birds in flight appear in Battery Park City landscapes via the Adobe Aero platform. Accompanying signage provides additional information about these local birds and migratory visitors along with lines of poetry, carefully selected to draw parallels between the repetitive nature of bird sounds and syllables in poems, which also serve as a source of inspiration to many poets. The installation creates a personal experience for the viewer as they explore Battery Park City’s diverse ecosystem.

“One of the early goals of this artwork was to heighten our awareness of the environment in urban surroundings. This notion matches the entire ideology of Battery Park City Authority for which sustainability and biodiversity are key,” said Bird’s-Eye View artist, Shuli Sadé. “Behind the origin of this project is the wish to share the discovery of the incredible bird species that migrate to Battery Park City. There are similarities between birds’ navigation and the geolocation technology used to experience augmented reality. A merger of art and technology, Augmented Reality creates digital spaces staged in nature, about nature. Mixed media environments create an illusion of real life. Juxtaposed with the river, birds, and people, the art installation creates a fusion between reality and illusion.”

Sadé is a multi-disciplinary artist, best known for her work with elements in space that are ethereal in nature, including light, sound and movement. She uses her style to blend various mediums, from photography and augmented reality to sculpture and drawing, with a focus on memory, space and urbanism. Bird’s-Eye View is Sadé’s eighth major piece in AR. By leveraging this technology, Sadé conveys a sense of discovery and wonder as the viewer can experience the work by themselves or using their smartphone, share that experience with others through pictures and videos. This installation was conceptualized with environmental stewardship in mind as AR eliminates or reduces many resources that are typically needed to install and exhibit art, such as fabrication materials, packing supplies and transportation fuel.

“This site-specific installation was conceptualized with Battery Park City’s pioneering practices and genuine commitment to environmental stewardship in mind,” said Abby Ehrlich, BPCA’s Director of Community Partnerships and Public Art. “Shuli Sadé’s Bird’s-Eye View explores and shares images that she develops with her mastery of the latest technology, hand-painted interpretations of birds, poetry excerpts selected to inspire wonder, and careful study of BPCA’s commitment to environmental sustainability. We are honored and inspired by Shuli’s innovative, temporal installation that bridges the potential of technology to bring viewers close to nature in a new way. When visitors engage with her art work they subtly engage with the natural motion of the tides on the lower Hudson River, and activities on land, river, and sky in the immediate area.”

Battery Park City is home to a world-renowned collection of public art, museums, and memorials sited throughout the 92-acre neighborhood. As part of its strategic plan, BPCA has renewed its efforts to steward and showcase these public amenities, continuing to develop its pipeline of temporary public art that inspires and informs the public across the neighborhood’s inviting open spaces. Birds-Eye View is the latest temporary public art installation in Battery Park City, following Mildred Howard’s The House That Will Not Pass for Any Color Than Its Own, the debut of Muna Malik’s Blessing of the Boats, and Autumn Ewalt and Dharmesh Patel’s Sunrise, Sunset (Revolution).

About Shuli Sadé:

Shuli Sadé’s cross-disciplinary artwork blends theory and practice with a focus on memory, space, and urbanism. Her work creates maps of urban memory, reflecting the DNA of a city. She mixes mediums including photography, videography, augmented reality, site-specific installations, sculpture, and drawing. Her recent exhibitions include Bird’s Eye View, AR Public Art Installation, Battery Park City, NYC, 2022, Upstream Downstream, AR Public Art Installation, Riverside Park, NYC, (Re: Growth, 2021), Fluid Formations, Gensler DC, (2019), Wild_Heterotopias, AR installation at the HighLineNine Galleries, Wild_Heterotopias, AR installation at the High Line, (2019), Solid Red, Galleria Ethra, Mexico City, (2018) and Day Dreams, AR installation at Montefiore Medical Center, the Bronx, NY (2017). Among grants, Shuli has received the Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant (2014), the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (1991), and others. She has taught and lectured at the University of Pennsylvania School of Architecture, Parsons School of Design, Columbia University, Barnard College, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design School of Architecture. Her work is represented by Galleria Ethra, Mexico City. She currently lives in NYC and works at her studio at Mana Contemporary, NJ.

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