Coding Around the Guillotine

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Where is there more public or more art than in New York City? And where better to pull people into the artmaking process than the city where Duchamp first pissed all over the museum wall with 'Fountain'? Exit Art's latest project, Public Execution, curated by Defne Ayas, Anne Ellegood and Michelle Thursz, runs from June 12-July 31 as a city-wide event aimed at engaging the viewer conceptually and creatively, in specifically public venues, celebrating art's refusal to be contained within a medium, edifice or critical community. In 'Site Expansion', Beth Coleman and Howard Goldkrand invite viewers to take and place art outside the gallery in the form of mirrored stickers. Serkan Ozkaya's 'What an Art Gallery Should Actually Look Like (large glass)' displays 20,000 internet-donated images to passers-by on 36th Street. In another window, Siebren Veersteeg's Dynamic Ribbon Devic, live AP news text stylized like a Coca-Cola logo scrolls across a screen, while Will Kwan's flash mob participants appear anywhere, anytime, to stage tailgate parties to broadcast a soundtrack of crowd noises and traffic sounds from their vehicles, blogging as they go. Download one of Kelley Walker's posters, manipulate it and you're an artist too. Multimedia, interactive and socially engaged, Public Execution is hugely ambitious and a next step in Exit Art's drive to stay contemporary and relevant. In your face and on your streets, public art just got more breathing room. - Peggy MacKinnon