OPEN CITY: Tools For Public Action

Eyebeam announces its long-anticipated 2007 exhibition season and commences its 10th Anniversary year with Open City – a glimpse into the current media and tactics of artists who take their practices into the street. Be it through projection, writing on walls or robotic pamphleteering, Open City presents the work of artists who communicate through the surfaces and structures of our communal spaces and offers a deeper look at the means and motivations of urban action and creativity. Join participating artists for the Opening Reception March 1, 6-8pm to launch this series of screenings, presentations and workshops exploring tool building, tactics, techniques and approaches to communication by any means necessary within the urban context.

Open City: Tools for Public Action is an exhibition and series of public programs that focus on the ingenuity of graffiti writers, artists, protesters, pranksters and hackers reclaiming the public realm. Together with the Graffiti Research Lab, a collaboration formed in Eyebeam’s R&D OpenLab in 2006, Eyebeam has invited a NYC and international roster of artists and collaborative groups to exhibit documentation of their work together with the tools they used – and often invented – to make their voices heard.

The artists featured in Open City create their work outside the confines of the gallery. Respecting the original context for this work, Open City considers the culture of its creation through the artifacts of its makers. Among the means and materials presented will be: digital projection, spray paint, urban pranks, robotics and custom machinery, site-specific sculpture, homemade markers and ink recipes, the internet, hacking and re-appropriation of existing urban systems. Open City hopes to inspire its audience to make their own tools for public action. A series of screenings, presentations and workshops exploring tool building, tactics and approaches to communication by any means necessary within the urban context, will turn Eyebeam into an active and participatory environment for the duration of the show.

Invited participants include: Aram Bartholl (Berlin) BORF (Washington D.C.) Graffiti Research Lab (NYC) Institute for Applied Autonomy (USA) Improv Everywhere (NYC) Mark Jenkins (Washington D.C.) KATSU (NYC) KR (NYC) Object Orange (Detroit) Leon Reid (NYC) Matthias Wermke (Berlin) Krzysztof Wodiczko (PL/NYC)


March 2: From 3-5pm artist Aram Bartholl will lead a drop-in free workshop demo-ing how to create his First Person Shooter Glasses. “First Person Shooter is the definition for a computer game genre which is played in the first person view while shooting is the main action of the game. A typical element of the game is the virtual arm of the player. Pointing with a weapon to the center of the screen this arm stays in the foreground all the time. The Object First Person Shooter is a card and a do it yourself set. The result of cutting and glueing all parts of FPS is a pair of glasses with the arm and weapon visible from out- and inside. ” For more information on this project visit

March 3:From 3-6pm join in free workshops and a screening of work from participants in Open City. Aram Bartholl will lead a workshop on his WoW performance, transforming this typical feature of virtual character’s nicknames floating above their heads from MMORPG’s to the real physical world. Mark Jenkins will demonstrate the basics in fabricating and placing tape sculpture such as his merry-go-round tape horses. From 5-6pm enjoy refreshments and a screening of shorts by Matthias Wermke, Object Orange, Krzysztof Wodiczko and the Graffiti Research Lab.

March 8: At 7:30 Eyebeam is pleased to present the documentary “State Your Name” as part of Open City. “New York City,The Big Apple, the city that never sleeps, 9-11 survivors. There’s a million stories to be told about New York City. This one is about the outlaw art form called Graffiti where your name and the crew you rep is key. To society it is vandalism. To graffiti writers it is part of everyday life…” For more information visit

March 15: 7:30pm Screening Night: Still We Ride (37 min), with introduction by directors Andrew Lynn and Elizabeth Press

March 17: 3-5pm Open City workshops with local artists: Leon Reid GRL-Overview of Mobile Broadcast Unit Steve Lambert 5pm-Projection of projects from GRL workshop.

March 29: Upgrade! – discussion and critique with Leon Reid with a screening of the documentary Public Discourse.

Projects: First Person Shooter, L.A.S.E.R. Tag, WoW
People: Aram Bartholl, BORF, Graffiti Research Lab, Improv Everywhere, Institute for Applied Autonomy, KATSU, KR, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Leon ReidMark Jenkins, Matthias Wermke, Object Orange
Research: Urban Research, Open Lab
Tags: exhibition