Presenting visual and performance art in unexpected public spaces.

AiOP 2015: Artists: Nicholas Fraser

Art in Odd Places (AiOP) 2015: RECALL is our 11th year and all about looking back at the artists and projects that made these festivals possible over the years. For RECALL, AiOP has invited back over forty artists to either present their original work or produce a completely new one that explore artworks in all disciplines outside the confines of traditional public space regulations. As we gear up for the festival next month, here is a preview of some of the works people can expect to see along 14th Street in October.


Nicholas Fraser
Project Title
Links to past AiOP blog features on your works
No blogs for my 2009 stuff that I’m aware of. There are images and video on my various sites. And the Russian projects I did through Ed (see below) got a fair amount of press, more so inside Russia.
Unfixed/Unfixable-site specific ash installations; ongoing.  Photo courtesy of the artist.
What was the first AiOP festival that you participated in?
The 2009 edition, SIGN. I also traveled to St Petersburg in 2012 with Ed and several other previous AiOP artists to do the Inaugural Prospect Art Festival, which is a similar street art event they now do annually.
How do you feel about returning to AiOP to participate in this anniversary festival?
I’m happy to be returning after several years, especially since it offers me a chance to study the street again and examine the inevitable changes. The shifting nature of urban landscapes has become a critical tenant of my work.
Why is 14th Street a compelling site for creative response?
The 2 mile stretch manages to really encompass so many aspects of the city-from high-priced posh stores/rents around the Highline and 10th ave to the neighborhoods on the east side. In between the street shifts and morphs between numerous identities. I once described it as a microcosm of the city, though that feels less true now. The level of diversity has been lost and the spectrum of culture reduced to a smaller band. I still love to walk it though and never fail to see/hear interesting people and actions.
Are you presenting the same project as last time? If so, how has it changed or evolved?
I’m still interested in the transitional spaces along the street, most of which are different 6 years later. And I’m still planning on using texts. But otherwise my project will be completely different. At this point I’m planning on creating a series of ‘banners’ using matt black tyvek and reflective silver mylar. These will be cut into triangles and strapped to scaffolding ‘x’s. Cut into each banner will be texts and graphics that refer to mapping the landscape, wind, movement and fragility.
Unfixed/Unfixable-site specific ash installations; ongoing.  Photo courtesy of the artist.
How does your prior experience with AiOP influence your approach to this year’s festival?
I have a relationship with the street from 2009. I documented the street extensively during my research that year and have been doing the same this year. Actually a large part of my practice revolves around recording such documentation, in an ongoing video project called Fronts, which involves filming storefronts. Since 2010, I’ve filmed 2300 of these 3 minute videos, each documenting a small sliver of urban street-scape. All are available online and I currently have a video, Follow, made using these videos in the Bronx Biennial at the Bronx Museum.
If presenting a new piece, why did you decide on something new?
Because the street has changed and so have I.
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