"Ouranos, Above Us Only Sky" - CODAworx

“Ouranos, Above Us Only Sky”

Client: MTA ARTS AND DESIGN - Digital Art Program at Grand Central Madison.

Location: New York, NY, United States

Completion date: 2024

Project Team


Monika Bravo

Assistant Manager

Maggie Murtha

MTA ARTS + Design

Deputy Director

Yaling Chen

MTA ARTS + Design


“Ouranos, Above Us Only Sky.” Commissioned by the MTA Arts and Design – Digital Art Program at Grand Central Madison. It is set to captivate audiences on their expansive screens this summer (June 17th onwards).

Culling images from Johann Bayer’s 1603 star atlas Uranometria, Grand Central’s vaulted ceiling adorned with constellations (completed in 1913), and the visionary architecture of Antonio Sant’Elia’s never-realized buildings “Città Nuova” (“New City”), and Hugh Ferriss’s The Four Stages, the piece embodies the dynamic interplay of economic and cultural forces that define civilization.

The vibrant cityscape reflects the passage of time and the crystallization of civilization, encouraging contemplation of humanity’s creative prowess. These structures mirror our capacity to either create or destroy when given the Promethean fire. Infused with playfulness, vivid colors, and ever-shifting geometry, the surreal landscapes prompt introspection about our role in shaping the world and the potential outcomes of our endeavors. The title pays homage to some wonderful New Yorkers, John & Yoko: Above Us Only Sky.


I have created a 5-screen, 2-minute animation for the LIRR corridor at the new Grand Central Madison. This temporary commission will be on display from mid-June until the end of 2024.


I began the sequence of the skyline by sourcing images from old books and online photographs. I was particularly inspired by Sant'Elia's drawings, which have influenced science fiction films like Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, and the expansive worlds of the Halo games. His visions take shape in functional architecture, drawings, and schematics illustrating a Città Nuova (the 'New City'), and he authored the Manifesto of Futurist Architecture. I also incorporated images from Hugh Ferriss’s 1922 renderings of the Zoning Code of 1916, known as The Four Stages or “Evolution of the Set-back Building,” are perhaps the most iconic and influential architectural images of the 1920s. 

These images were printed, hand-colored, and then re-digitized. The background transitions from night to dusk, featuring natural elements such as clouds and flickering constellations that rotate across some screens, with geometric images dancing between them. The colors range from vivid yellows and blues to pinks and reds, creating an explosion of life. The constellations from Uranometria are depicted as animals or humans. Geometric elements hover around, and birds fly across the screens.

Additional Information

Inspired by my studies in Praxeology and open market economic principles, this animation explores how human action, purposeful behavior, and personal accountability shape civilization. It highlights how individuals, through voluntary interactions, contribute to our collective journey by recognizing the transformative power of cooperation, the division of labor, accountability, human behavior, and open markets, impacting society's prosperity, development, and cultural growth. The animation features a skyline blending real and unrealized buildings, symbolizing the city’s essence.