Lovin' an Elevator

Does the thought of a cardboard robot whispering sweet nothings in your ear send you soaring? If so, Tommy Becker offers you the opportunity to fly sky high (or at least a few stories up) with his audio installation at New York's Art in General, a nonprofit art space revered for its innovative commissioning program. A self-described 'poet trapped in a camcorder,' Becker's works usually start as texts that become heavily illustrated by animated videos, humorous performances, and musical recordings composed by this Jack-of-all-art-trades. For his installation in Art in General's elevator, the artist returns to his roots by presenting stripped-down spoken-word pieces whose language is perhaps even more pictorial than his video art. In these lyrical pieces, the California-based artist often takes on the personae of homebrew robots, forlorn scientists, or a psychoanalyst seemingly stuck in the era of low-fi self-help cassettes. An exceedingly sentimental alternative to stale 'elevator muzak,' these tracks hail from Becker's Tape Number One, an ever-evolving mixtape of video works he admits 'strives for an unforeseeable conclusion.' Get in on the ground level, now through December 17. - Marisa Olson