Michael Hess & Sal Russomanno: Brooklyn Castle

ADC Members create installation for 'Art. Storytelling. Impact' exhibition

Last week, ADC — in partnership with Shutterstock — played host to Art. Storytelling. Impact, an exhibition celebrating the tenth anniversary of Chicken & Egg Pictures. As part of the exhibition, five ADC Members were selected to partner with five documentary filmmakers to create art installations inspired by their cinematic creations. We’re featuring the artists, films and installations here on the ADC Blog, but we invite you all to visit the ADC Gallery to experience them first hand.

“Brooklyn Castle”
Directed by Katie Dellamaggiore

Associate Creative Director- Freelance (Michael)/Associate Creative Director at 360i (Sal)
New York, NY





Tell us about your installation

The installation is called ‘Bold Moves’ and allows you to learn more about the Brooklyn Castle documentary and the students by “playing” chess. Every time you move a chess figure, a new short video is being played and projected to the wall. This way people experience the documentary according to their moves – the more they play chess, the more they learn about the students. The short videos show emotional moments and thoughts from the documentary.

What was it about Brooklyn Castle that inspired you to create this? Was there any key moment where you said “Aha! That’s what i want to express!”?

We love the emotional story of the documentary and how it changes the perception of chess among kids. Suddenly it becomes a meaningful game, gives them a purpose, helps them to become better people and to face the challenges in life. It was great to see how much power that game has and how lively and interactive it is and we wanted to recreate that interactive experience for the visitors of the exhibition. We think the moment that inspired us the most was the sentence “Here the cool kids are those in the chess team.”

“Suddenly it becomes a meaningful game, gives them a purpose, helps them to become better people and to face the challenges in life.”

What was it like to collaborate with the filmmaker?

Working with Katie was great. She was very helpful and provided us with all the material we needed for the installation.

How does this installation compare to what you normally do?

Both of us work in digital advertising agencies here in New York, so thinking of interactive ideas is our daily task. However the realization was quite challenging but a lot of fun to play around with the hardware and software. It was a little bit like an expedition to the moon but at the end we made it.

Danelle’s installation, along with four others created by ADC Members for this exhibition, are on display at the ADC Gallery until November 5.