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public.exe: Public Execution- opening at Exit Art

public.exe: Public Execution

public.exe: Public Execution
investigates cultural production in relation to the public

June 12 - July 31, 2004
with performances by Tobias Bernstrup, Koken Ergun, and Will Kwan

New York, NY - From June 12 - July 31, 2004, Exit Art will present public.exe: Public Execution, an exhibition exploring how artists are rearticulating the definition, distribution, and reception of public art. public.exe: Public Execution is organized by Michele Thursz and Anne Ellegood with participating curator Defne Ayas.

Proposing new possibilities for the genre of public art inspired by accessibility to and proficiency with technological tools and their impact on cultural production and social systems, the works in this exhibition will exist predominantly outside the conventional white cube gallery space. Works “on view” will be integrated into the facade of the Exit Art building; off-site in outdoor spaces and various arts institutions and retail stores; on the Internet; and through a series of interventions, performances, video programs, and panel discussions addressing a range of topics proposed through the exhibition.

Installed in the four large windows of Exit Art’s facade along 36th Street, Turkish artist Serkan Ozkaya’s what an art gallery should actually look like (large glass) includes up to 20,000 slides of artworks donated—through an open-call sent out via the Internet—by artists, galleries, and museums for this site-specific installation. By viewing his work as a co-production with the people of the cities in which it is exhibited, Ozkaya explores the relationship of the artist to art institutions and to the public.

A new poster project created by New York-based artist Kelley Walker for public.exe: Public Execution is produced as a large edition of CDs, available for $10 to visitors to Exit Art and other locales throughout the city. By offering his poster pieces to the public to download, manipulate, print, and display, Walker directly engages with such current cultural practices as collaboration, circulation, signification, and sampling.

The collective known as Paper Rad (Jacob Ciocci, Jessica Ciocci, and Ben Jones) presents Tux Dog 2004, a free magazine containing art solicited from several of Paper Rad’s collaborators, largely from the Boston/Providence comics and art scene, all centered around "Tux Dog,” a character developed by the artists that can be used and modified by anyone, as long as the output is also made public and offered for free. Relating the open source computing culture of information sharing/transformation to popular cartoon/fan art culture, the zine will be available at Exit Art as well as numerous venues throughout the city. Collaborators include Matt Brinkman (ex-Forcefield member/Paper Rodeo/Highwater Books); Leif Goldberg (ex-Forcefield/Paper Rodeo/National Waste); Eric Mast (www.jyrk.com); Cory Arcangel (BEIGE Records); Christopher Forgues (Raper Radio); Erin Rosenthal (Paper Rodeo); David Wightman (Extreme Animals); Jim Drain (ex-Forcefield, Paper Rodeo); and Sarah Dunbar (peace-zone.com).

Displayed in the window at Exit Art, Siebren Veersteeg’s Dynamic Ribbon Device employs a networked computer program that receives a live news feed from the Associated Press. Veersteeg takes this AP news text and scrolls it across the screen in the form of the Coca-Cola logo, commenting upon the corporation-ridden global economy and the relationship between news agencies and commerce.

The re/definition of the public domain through an active engagement with artistic tools is one of the main concerns for artist collective xurban.net (collaborators for this project include haci, imam, pagan, pope, tabi). For the exhibition, xurban.net re-contextualizes their project Siegecraft (currently on view at ZKM) for the city of New York by observing the membranes of the transitional zones within the urban setting. The project consists of a website with videos, photographs, and documents from both NY and Istanbul.

Beth Coleman + Howard Goldkrand will present their sticker project Site Expansion, which will work as an intervention and architectural refraction in the public urban space. The sticker will have a reflective surface, like a mirror, and is a popularization and extension/quote of Robert Smithson's non-site mirror displacement pieces. Available for free at the gallery, the sticker intends to create a alternate surface that can expand and create continuity or further disorganize one’s perspective of the space and time complexities of the stratified experience we call the city. The public’s act of taking and placing the stickers is a necessary action of the project.

Elena Bajo and Warren Neidich’s contribution Silent relates to their site-specific public sculpture recently installed on the Paseo de Recoletos in Madrid. This large-scale piece takes the basic form of the now-ubiquitous road-side structure of the noise barrier, placing it within the thriving pedestrian section of the city. Commenting upon the growth of urban planning related directly to our over-stimulated society, Silent created a quiet space for the public to interact. Moreover, the work can be evaluated in relationship to the perceptual and phenomenological preoccupations of Richard Serra’s Tilted Arc and deliberately responds to the specific history of Serra’s public art. Silent will be presented through a new video work screened during one of the exhibition’s video programs and a website.

Tobias Bernstrup presents his exciting cabaret-style one-man performance at the opening of public.exe: Public Execution. His performances include animated videos and interactive computer games, featuring his self-produced music, and are closely connected with the world of computer games, hinted at in his song titles, such as “Jpeg-boy,” “Polygon Lover,” “Videodrome,” and “Re-Animator.”

Using a security system and a professional security staff, Koken Ergun constructs the type of security system that is now commonly found in crowded public spaces for the opening night of public.exe: Public Execution. In Homeland Security, Ergun questions the level of surveillance and security necessary in relationship to public spaces.

Will Kwan is involved in an ongoing collaboration with a coalition of housing activists, the Hell’s Kitchen Hudson Yards Alliance, to raise awareness about the concern of the residents over the city’s plans to build a new Westside football stadium. For his project On dispossession (Hell's Kitchen Hudson Yards Alliance v. the Bloomberg and Pataki administrations), Kwan has developed a plan for public protest involving a tailgate party/flash mob to highlight the noise and traffic pollution that would result from this development. A soundtrack of roaring crowd noises from a football game mixed with the grinding traffic sounds will be produced by Kwan for “transmission” over car audio systems. With Kwan’s tools, the flash mob participants can converge at a predetermined site with their vehicles, find a parking spot, open up their windows and trunks, and then play the soundtrack at a disruptive volume. Kwan’s interactions with the Alliance will be presented using a weblog (blog), reflecting the ongoing and contingent nature of the project. Additionally, as Kwan’s project intends to create a physical, experimental, public protest space and tools, he will present a “demonstration” of the flash mob at the opening of the exhibition.

In creating Privately-Owned Public Spaces Walking Tours, Brendan and Patrick FitzGerald were inspired by their research into the development laws in New York City and discovery of the complex relationship between what is considered to be public and private space. The FitzGeralds’ will lead walking tours of the Exit Art neighborhood in which they will discuss New York City zoning laws intended to provide public space within privately owned developments and how/why the building owners often ignore them entirely. Walking tours will be held: June 19, 2PM; June 26, 2PM; July 10, 2PM; July 24, 2PM; participants should meet in front of Starbucks at 325 W 49th Street, between 8th/9th Avenues.

Michelle Handelman will spend one day in Bryant Park clandestinely documenting visitors to the park, recording their conversations, photographing them, and taking note of their location/time in the park. During a single performance, entitled Passerby, she will work with performers to recreate five of the situations she observed in the exact locations at the same time they originally occurred. Handelman’s project addresses the possibility for or lack of privacy in public space as well as the prevalence of and high tolerance for surveillance and will take place on Tuesday, June 29th, from 1-4PM in Bryant Park, 6th Avenue between 40th/42nd Streets. Rain date is Thursday, July 1st.

Ricardo Miranda Zuniga will do a series of performances using a shopping cart outfitted with a dynamic microphone, a mixer, an amplifier, six speakers, a mini-FM transmitter, and a laptop with a wireless card. The Public Broadcast Cart is designed to enable any pedestrian to become an active producer of a radio broadcast. The cart reverses the usual role of the public from audience to producer of a radio broadcast and online content. Zuniga will take his shopping cart into the public sphere on the following dates: Wednesday, June 16, 11am-2pm; Saturday, June 26, noon-3pm; and Wednesday, July 14, 11am-2pm. The Public Broadcast Cart will travel West along 36th Street from 10th Avenue to 6th Avenue, Avenue of the Americas where it will turn North to Bryant Park, where it will be temporarily stationed at Tesla Corner, inside Bryant Park, Avenue of the Americas and 40th Street.

The on-line component of public.exe: Public Execution looks at different ways the net is used to engage with the public. The chosen projects play upon the utopian origins of the net as a media that can embrace democracy and serve the populace. Internet-based works in public.exe engage with the language and protocol of the net and evaluate its effect upon society, and moreover, argue for the pivotal position of the art maker in this cultural evolution. As a platform, the net carries particular attributes of a successful mass-media—its ability to use and distribute various data and information, its ability to host other forms of media, its embrace of personal engagement, and its role as an extension of existing social structures.

The projects expose the characteristics of an executable file and act as software or medium to be reused and reformulated, creating various possibilities for the public to engage with the information as an action, documentation, artwork, or commercial product for individual use.

public.exe: Public Execution.com will include the curated exhibition, the archive, and downloadable media that act as tools to engage, distribute, and document. Projects include: maccsi.org by Yucef Merhi, The Contagious Media Project by Jonah Peretti, On dispossession (Hell's Kitchen Hudson Yards Alliance v. the Bloomberg and Pataki administrations) photo blog by Will Kwan, Netomat by Maciej Wisniewski, and The Zapatista FloodNet by The Electronic Disturbance Theater. Other projects included in the exhibition will have website components; all internet based works can be accessed through the Exit Art website at www.exitart.org/public.exe or the Post-Media Network, at www.michelethursz.com.

location: Exit Art back gallery
All programs are free and open to the public.

Program I: Investigating Different Models for Public Art
Saturday, July 10, 2004 3PM
1) Silent by Warren Neidich and Elena Bajo
2) The Trial of Tilted Arc by Shu Lea Cheang
*additional programming TBA

Program II: Hackers, Crackers, and Graffiti
Saturday July 24, 2004 3PM
1) Low Level All-Stars by BEIGE and Radical Software Group (RSG)
3) The Hacktivists: Information War by Ian Walker
*additional programming TBA

location: Exit Art cafe
All panels are free and open to the public.

Tuesday June 15, 2004 6.30-8PM
Public.exe: Redefinition of Public in Relationship to Artistic Practice and the Institution
Moderated by Michele Thursz
Participants include:
•Serkan Ozkaya, artist
•Yucef Merhi, artist
•Ricardo Dominguez, artist

Tuesday June 22, 2004 6.30-8PM
Radio Comeback: Broadcasting Art and Sound
Moderated by Anthony Huberman
Participants include:
•Kenny Goldsmith, WFMU
•Gregory Whitehead, sound artist
•Ricardo Miranda Zuniga, artist

Tuesday June 29, 2004 6.30-8PM
What is Public Art?: Looking at the Past, Present, and Future
Moderated by Anne Ellegood
Participants include:
•Elena Bajo and Warren Neidich, artists
•Anne Pasternak, Creative Time
•Tom Finkelpearl, Queens Museum of Art

All tours are free and open to the public. Dates and times can be re-confirmed on our website.

Opening night at Exit Art:
Tobias Bernstrup
Saturday, June 12 8.30-9.30pm

Koken Ergun
Homeland Security
Saturday, June 12 at 7pm

Will Kwan
On dispossession (Hell's Kitchen Hudson Yards Alliance v. the Bloomberg and
Pataki administrations)
tailgate/flash mob
Saturday, June 12 at 9.30pm

Brendan and Patrick FitzGerald
Privately-Owned Public Spaces
walking tours
Saturdays at 2pm
June 26, July 10, July 24
Meeting point: Starbucks at 325 West 49th Street, between 8th/9th Avenues

Michelle Handelman
Tuesday, June 29, 2004 1-4pm
Location: Bryant Park at 42nd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues, behind the NY Public Library
Rain date: Thursday, July 1, 2004 1-4pm

Ricardo Miranda Zuniga
Public Broadcast Cart
walking urban performance
Wednesday, June 16, 2004 11am-2pm
Saturday, June 26, 2004 noon-3pm
Wednesday, July 14, 2004 11am-2pm
Course: travel West along 36th Street from 10th Avenue to 6th Avenue, Avenue of the Americas where it will turn North to Bryant Park, where it will be temporarily stationed at Tesla Corner, inside Bryant Park, Avenue of the Americas and 40th Street.

For More Information and a complete schedule of events please visit

public.exe: Public Execution is supported with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding provided by Jerome Foundation, Greenwall Foundation, Starry Night Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, New York State Council on the Arts and our members.

About the curators
Michele Thursz
Michele Thursz is an independent curator and consultant for art-makers and distributors. Her current project is Post Media Network. Post Media is a term and action demonstrating the continuous evolution of media and it effect on artists’ practice and culture-at-large. In 1999, she co-founded and directed Moving Image Gallery, NYC, one of the first galleries to show electronic and computer based mediums, exhibiting such artist as Golan Levin, Cory Arcangel, Yael Kanerek. Her recent curatorial projects include Copy it, Steal it, Share It at Borusan Gallery, in Istanbul and Nown at Wood Street Gallery, Pittsburgh. She has written about contemporary art for catalogue essays and has lectured on contemporary art and curatorial practice. Thursz’s actions and exhibits have been reviewed and featured in the New York Times, Forbes Best of the Web, ArtByte, Wired News, Art Forum, and many international periodicals and web publications.

Anne Ellegood
Anne Ellegood is the New York-based curator for Peter Norton’s collection. Prior to joining the Norton Family Office in April 2003, she was the associate curator at the New Museum of Contemporary Art where she organized such shows as Out of Site: Fictional Architectural Spaces; Superficial: The Surfaces of Architecture in a Digital Age; Candice Breitz: Babel Series; David Galbraith and Teresa Seemann: Waveform; Kristin Lucas and Joe McKay: The Electric Donut; Marco Brambilla: Halflife; Videodrome; and several others. Her independent curatorial projects have included Transparent Architecture at GAle GAtes et al. in Brooklyn; The Meaning of Style at Brooklyn Front Gallery; Crossings: Artistic and Curatorial Practice, a ten-part exhibition at a variety of venues in New York City in conjunction with the 2003 College Art Association conference co-organized with Rachel Gugelberger; and 4 und 4 at mullerdechiara gallery in Berlin. She has written about contemporary art and curatorial practice for various publications. Ellegood received her MA from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College and now teaches curatorial practice at the School of the Visual Arts.

Defne Ayas
Defne Ayas was born in Germany, grew up in Turkey, received her B.A. in Foreign Affairs in Charlottesville, Virginia, and moved to New York City in 1999 to become a student of rich media at a design studio with political and commercial clients. Currently, she is the Education and Media Programs Coordinator at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, where she co-organizes Digital Culture Programs including artist presentations, performances, community outreach projects, and critical debates relating to contemporary art and new media. Her recent projects include www.oneblockradius.org, Transmission I: Determinale Verschweifungen, Lansing-Dreiden and Fresh New Media. Prior to joining the museum, Ayas received her Masters from Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University, where she focused on computing in public spaces, interactive installations, and video.

About Exit Art
Since 1982, the non-profit, interdisciplinary organization Exit Art has grown into one of New York's most important venues for new work by young and emerging artists who need a platform to exercise and realize their art-making. Exit Art also serves as a venue for landmark historical exhibitions bringing under-recognized ideas and art practices to a larger public-both locally and globally. In its first decade, Exit Art’s primary focus was on presenting the work of under-recognized and mid-career artists. They gave artists such as Martin Wong, Adrian Piper, David Hammons, Ursula von Rydingsvard, and Krzysztof Wodiczko their first critical exposure. In late 1992, Exit Art moved to a 14,000 sq. ft space located on Broadway in SoHo. Tripling its exhibition space, Exit Art expanded its mission, goals, and programs to explore all aspects of contemporary art—the visual arts, design, music, film/video, and performance/theater. Groundbreaking Exit Art exhibitions include Fever (1992), Let the Artist Live! (1994), Endurance (1996), LP Show (2001) and Reactions (2002). In its new Hell’s Kitchen space, Exit Art presented Exit Biennial: The Reconstruction (2003), L Factor (2003-2004) and Terrorvision (2004).

General Information
Exit Art is located at 475 Tenth Avenue at 36th Street.
public.exe: Public Execution will be open each Tuesday - Thursday, 10 am - 6 pm; Friday, 10 am - 8 p m; Saturday, 12 noon - 8 pm and Sunday, 12 noon - 6 pm.
There is a suggested donation of $5.

For more information, the public may call 212-966-7745 or visit www.exitart.org.