Overhead Under Foot

An impressionistic telling of the rise and fall of Brooklyn’s Kentile Floors sign (c.1950s – 2014).

Directed by Tim Bartlett.
Music by Aleksei Stevens.

About the Film

The Kentile Floors sign was a beloved artifact from the Gowanus Canal’s mid-century industrial heyday, an 8-story rooftop beacon visible to thousands of commuters every day. Its neon tubes have remained unlit at least since Kentile Floor’s bankruptcy in 1992.

In May, 2014, Tim Bartlett teamed up with George Del Barrio from The Vanderbilt Republic art space, and Karl Mehrer of K2imaging, to illuminate the sign with mapped video from a pair of powerful projectors. Bartlett created an impressionistic story of the life of the sign, from original video loops that he had shot over the years.

Shortly after the projections, the Kentile Floors sign was dismantled and removed from its rooftop home.

Overhead Under Foot is an adapted version of the story of the sign, and a collaboration with composer and sound artist Aleksei Stevens.

Stevens previously engaged with the Gowanus Canal area in another composition, when he used hydrophones to collect field recordings of water up-close. His piece, “40º 45′ North, 73º 59′ West,” is used in the film.


Brooklyn Short Film Festival
Thursday, June 18, 2015 at 9:00pm
at the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

News & Reviews

“Iconic Kentile Floors sign in Gowanus to illuminate once again — for one night only”
New York Daily News (April 11, 2014).