Newark is Watching is a succession, and usurpation project by Gallery Aferro, Newark, NJ, of Brooklyn is Watching, consisting of "mixed -reality" critiques in a virtual exhibition space with Second Life. The primary spaces are a square parcel of land (sim) in Second Life where artists are invited to leave their work for one week (when it is automatically returned) and a physical gallery installation consisting of a couch, a coffee table, a computer, and a fifty-two inch monitor that continuously presents the avatar's view to gallery visitors. The avatar's motion and communication can be controlled by visitors. In addition, there are two online forums for discussion, a blog which chronicles and comments on the work recently installed, and weekly podcasts where artists, art historians, gallerists and critics discuss the art and the issues it raises.
Brooklyn is Watching, conceived of by Jay Van Buren, executed as a collaboration with Boris Kizelshteyn and the Popcha! development team in February 2008, was a breakthrough relational art project that invited interaction between the two thriving art communities of Second Life and Williamsburg, Brooklyn accentuating the power relations between and among them. Over the course of the year, more than one hundred artists have left approximately four hundred works of art on the sim. This dynamic, uncurated exhibition space creates constantly changing relations between works of art that sometimes inter-relate or even intentionally intersect.
Anyone interested in participating can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two of the first tasks during the transition period are the design and creation of a new watchtower, the dominant feature of the virtual
space, and the organization of a virtual crowd to pull down the old tower.