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Tiny Art, Big Experience

By Rhizome

The American expression that 'good things come in small packages' has not always carried over into an art community that often favors extreme monumentalism. Nevertheless, work in small scale has a long legacy that extends to new media, as evidenced in 'Media Miniature,' an exhibition curated by the Guggenheim's Christina Yang and on view at Pratt Manhattan Gallery through April 20. The show features seven artists 'who create intentionally miniature work with monumental implications.' Marc Lafia, Lev Manovich, Jane Philbrick, Charlene Rule, Dave Simonds, Grahame Weinbren, and the-phone-book Limited present microcinema, unique ring tones, a digital diary, and other pieces that manipulate or defy scale to create ultimately subjective listening and viewing experiences. Yang's selections range from 'classic' internet movies of the 1990s to very recent work and are inspired by what she sees as an historical shift in the social experience of art. With art made for portable devices like MP3 players and cell phones, the 'mass social experience' of art once confined to theatres, museums, and cathedrals is now personal and mobile. New Yorkers can get personal with the work by visiting the exhibition, which is accompanied by a series of free events. - Marisa Olson

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