Presenting visual and performance art in unexpected public spaces.

Cooper Holoweski’s “Cannibal Universe”

By Matthew Morowitz


Cooper Holoweski.

In late July, I had the opportunity to see Cooper Holoweski’s Cannibal Universe at Pioneer Works in Red Hook and speak with the artist about his works.  Art in Odd Places had come across Cooper, who was part of the arts nonprofit NURTUREart, about 4 years ago when we covered them as part of our “Guerilla Academia” series.  Pioneer Works gives this description for Cannibal Universe:

“Cooper Holoweski’s Cannibal Universe, on view in Clocktower’s third floor Cove exhibition space, borrows from scientific theory, religious mysticism, and various world mythologies. It explores self-reflexivity and recurrent patterns in astrophysics, biological evolution, spiritual reincarnation, and other realms. Each loop is a hybrid of digital video, stop-motion animation, and computer modeling; while there are moments when viewers may lose themselves in the imagery, the raw materials and means of construction are always apparent. Cannibal Universe is Holoweski’s spiritual manifesto, reminiscent of Manly Hall’s Secret Teachings of All Ages or Johannes Kepler’s Harmonice Mundi, except made with cardboard, duct tape, and Photoshop.”

Cooper was affable, albeit a little sweaty from biking to our meeting from his home in Bushwick.  We discussed his background, his inspirations, and how he came to make these works.  He explained to me how ideas relating to time and spirituality plays in these works, with the name derived from a belief in the cyclical nature of the universe.  All of this was translated through video work that focused on mundane objects in extreme close-up, green screen, and other effects that made them appear as though they were something else or very unlike their original forms.  Below is my interview with Cooper.  Cannibal Universe is still on view.

This project would not have been possible without the support of Clocktower Productions, who were the ones that originally reached out to AiOP about it.  Clocktower is “a non-profit art institution working in the visual arts, performance, music, and radio. Founded in 1972 in Lower Manhattan by MoMA PS1 Founder Alanna Heiss, Clocktower is the oldest alternative art project in New York…” The organization supports multidisciplinary art projects all over New York City and maintains creative collaborations with other arts organizations and exhibition spaces.  While their permanent administrative office is on East 41st St. in Manhattan, they also maintain a satellite studio at Pioneer Works in Red Hook, which is how Cooper’s work came to be staged at that location, following a residency in their Manhattan offices.


“Cannibal Universe.”

Tell me about yourself? When did you get started? When did you come to NYC?

I grew up in metro Detroit and I lived in Michigan for a long time.  I think there was a definitive line in undergrad; I was studying political science and studying art.  I was interested in political science, but I just realized whenever I had free time I was just making art, I wasn’t doing research for social sciences.  Something kind of clicked in my early twenties, I have a lot of different interests but, if I’m in a neutral zone, I’m always going to gravitate towards making art.

I traveled for a while after undergrad, worked a bunch, and went to grad school at RISD and did the Skowhegan residence after that and then I moved to NYC because I had a million friends in NYC at the time.  Half of the people in my class from Skowhegan were from NYC, it makes it really easy to come to a place like this when you have an instant kind of network of people.


Why did you choose to go to graduate school? How did it influence your practice?

When I went to grad school, I was really looking for a critical discussion about art and art history.  I got that; I got a lot really phenomenal critical feedback from some great teachers. It made me really think about every gesture that was going, every choice that was going into the work I was making, not just “is this a 2D object or a 3D object?” but everything from materials, to every sort of verb that can go into making a piece of art, which is also a very conscious way of making art, but at some point can also be really cumbersome.  After grad school, I did this residency in Skowhegan, and it was an environment that was really conducive to play and really conducive to a more intuitive way of working.  It was just what I needed; it was the perfect antidote to the indoctrination of a grad program.  Both had their merit and rounded me out.  Then I came to NYC in 2009.

How did you get involved with Clocktower?

I actually met Alana through my job, [I’m] the studio manager for Laurie Anderson.  Alana and Laurie have a very long history.  Through correspondences with Alana, we just became friends.  She’s someone who really puts her money where her mouth is, someone who just doesn’t give lip service to emerging artists.  Offhandedly, I would talk about my work and she would say “Oh I would love to give you a studio visit.” People say that all the time, and it happens or it doesn’t happen, but she was really sincere.  She gave me a really wonderful studio visit, was brutally honest about some work and really glowing about other work, and has been a real ally and champion for my work.  I did a residency with the Clocktower Gallery last summer when I was developing some of the work, and we talked about doing a residency here because they recently relocated to Pioneer Works.  The piece that I was making I really needed a view of the city, so I kind of mentioned that to Alana, half-knowing that they had this administrative office in Midtown at the time that had this really beautiful view, and I knew they had this empty office.  I was very gracious, and very flattered, that they were interested in providing me with a residency, but also asked “what if I do [in Midtown] instead?” and Alana was super cool with it so that’s how it worked out.


Can you tell me a little about the work at Pioneer Works?

This show came about from that residency, as it was a great opportunity to showcase some of the work I made during that time.  It’s a large body of work, and some of the work I shot during that residency is part of that work.  The title of the work is called Cannibal Universe, about these different kind of cyclical narratives that exist in the world, or in the universe, that I sort of believe to be true.  I say sort of because I do believe them to be true, but I also question my belief in them and where that comes from, and that’s also embedded in the work.  In the piece that I made during the residency, there is this rock floating in space; it starts from the big bang, this matter forms, it turns into this rock.  Then it’s revealed this rock is just sitting in an animation booth surrounded by green screen.  You pull back even farther, and the rock is just in this office overlooking the city.  It pans back from there and the rock turns into the earth, and it becomes this cyclical thing.


“Cannibal Universe.”

Why video work?

Each piece has some kind of depiction of some progression through time; one of them is the beginning of the universe to the end of the universe.  There’s a piece that depicts some kind of evolution, whether be it through material works or some kind of spiritual evolution. So there is this implied passage of time.  I think video and animation become the most appropriate way to depict something like that.  When I think of other ways of depicting that, they become very diagrammatic, and I think the best way of depicting it is through some sort of time-based media.


Tell me about the works in this residency.

This one on the far left is the one I was talking about, the beginning of the universe and the end of the universe.  There’s the fact that the universe is expanding at a continuously slower rate; although I guess that’s sort of debatable too, some people say it’s speeding up, some people say it’s slowing down.  There’s this running theory based on the expansion slowing down that it’s eventually going to slow down to a point where it’s going to stop and it’s going to start to contract and come back in on itself.  I kind of like that idea, that theory’s called The Big Crunch. In this piece, there’s like the crunching of aluminum foil.  The other thing you’ll notice is all of this work takes on some of these really ambitious, big topics, but it’s all very pedestrian materials.  Like what we’re looking at right here is an ink drop in water shot from below in a mason jar.  Once you start really checking it out, you can see the 4-0 from the mason jar, the outlined rim of the mason jar.  There’s points in these pieces where I think there’s transcendence, where you get past the materials so you’re able to get lost in them.  Then I think immediately the materiality of it rears itself again, and that’s an important thing that happens in all these pieces.


Is it important for you to work with a physical material as opposed to digitally?

Yeah, there are a couple of reasons for that.  One is the pure joy: I have to sustain myself making art, I have to sustain my practice, I have to keep finding enjoyment in it.  I find if I am doing too much work on the computer, I get really burned out.  I find it unnerving and exhausting in a way that is not fully gratifying to me.  I know just for my own sanity and gratification, I need to work with objects and materials.  I don’t want to just situate the work in a hypothetical space; what we’re looking at now, this is kind of like a black hole, this is the beginning of the contraction of the universe.  It’s just coffee grounds that are going through a sieve, it’s literally a Chemex pot shot from above.  Then it gets digital, and there’s this digital array that comes into these stars.  It’s important that I think it’s situated in reality, some kind of materiality in the works so it’s not just a hypothetical thing.  The next step of that, it’s important for me that they’re very approachable materials; as sincere as all of this work is, it should be viewed with a level of skepticism too.  I’m not trying to make a didactic manifesto about how the world works, I kind of am but am also willing to look at that with a sense of humor or doubt. There’s an embedded self-doubt in it, and I think it comes through when you have materials like aluminum foil or duct tape and cardboard and things like that that you’re using.


Why time, why this large topic?

I think you can yank some sort of angle of spirituality out of any art that anybody makes, but I’ve tried to avoid that overtly in my work for a really long time. I think it was time for me, I just felt inspired to work in that capacity.  I got really inspired by this theologian Robert Fludd; he was a contemporary of Johannes Kepler and he becomes a footnote compared to Kepler because Kepler’s theories were much more based in scientific fact, and Fludd was interested in Christian and other religion esoteric traditions.  In a very self-aware way, he let spiritual beliefs kind of cloud these books and these theories that he wrote about how the universe works.  Kepler’s writing in a way that’s like, “Copernicus discovered that the earth goes around the sun, so I’m going to depict this model of the universe where the earth and other planets revolve around the sun,” science had proven that at that point.  Whereas Fludd is, in a pretty self-aware way, regressing in a Ptolemic model of the universe, where everything revolves around the earth and part of that is because we’re on earth and the guy who’s making it is on earth.

Both Fludd and Kepler were working on these naively ambitious volumes of books that are like “this is how everything in the universe works, this is how astronomy works, this is how physics works, this is how our bodies work, this is how politics work…” I don’t know how self-aware Fludd was, but he must have known, at this point it was well-established, some of the physics and science behind how the universe worked, or at least how our solar system worked, and he willfully was going against that.  I think there’s an acknowledgment of subjectivity in that.  I was inspired by both of these guys; it’s a really sort of stupid idea to try and make a volume of books that contains all the knowledge in reality, it’s a stupid idea, it’s naively ambitious, but I also find it really endearing.  I think Kepler went at it full steam ahead and there’s an earnestness to that that I really like, but I really find Fludd’s approach a little more charming because he’s willing to acknowledge his subjectivity in that.  I started researching both of these guys and the fissure between them, and I got really taken with the idea of trying to make some sort of spiritual manifesto that covers everything, there’s something really endearing and stupid about that.


Cooper Holoweski in front of “Cannibal Universe.”

Are these works here the first iteration in a spiritual manifesto you want to try and create?

I think this series of works is something that will continue.  I found my pattern is to take a body of work and work with it for about five years and transition a bit, but I can work on this body of work for the next 25 years.  Not to say there won’t be breaks in it or other projects that happen, but this is the first public iteration.  I’ve shown fragments of it in studio visits, but I think this is the earliest chunk of it that I’m comfortable putting out into the world. In an ideal world, there’s like hundreds of monitors and sculptures and books and prints, it’s a big, massive sort of thing.  Given the subject matter, I’ll never run out of stuff to make work about.


What does the future hold for you? Do you have any upcoming projects?

I’m continuing to work on this Cannibal Universe piece.  My family and I are getting ready to move to Detroit for a while; we’re going to give it a year to be around family.  My wife and I are expecting our second child so we’re excited to have the support of family around that.  I’ll be teaching there, which is exciting.  I will be teaching at Wayne State University and the University of Michigan.

AiOP 2016: RACE Participating Artists

2016 Art in Odd Places Race Banner

The AiOP 2016 festival, RACE, is less than a week away!  This year’s festival is co- curated by Elissa Blount-Moorhead, Rylee Eterginoso, Tumelo Mosaka and Ikechukwu Onyewuenyi, and features over 3o artists.  Below is a list of all the participating artists, the names and descriptions of their projects, and days, times, and locations of where they can be found on 14th Street.  This year’s festival also couldn’t have been accomplished without the hard work and dedication of our Curatorial Manager, Malena Amaranta Negrao, and Curatorial Assistant, Tasha Douge.

Ori Alon



Ori Alon is the Director and Founder of the Center for Supportive Bureaucracy (Empowering Clerks Network). He lives in Beacon NY with Ana and their three children. Besides developing and issuing playful paperwork, he writes a comics series with postage stamps, short stories, and the “Magic Bagel” interactive children book series.

Project Title: Center for Supportive Bureaucracy (Empowering Clerks Network)

Project Description: CSB offers a variety of services; Forgiver’s Licenses, Joy Permits, Open Carry permits for musical instruments, Racism Release Forms, Refurbished Report Cards, Apology Declarations, OK Parent Award, Village Fool Diploma, Certificates of Recognition, Pain Deeds, Adults Special Achievement Stickers and more. ECN Director Ori Alon walks around 14th Street, offering his services as an Empowering Clerk, as he recently did during the RNC and DNC. Office hours might exceed festival hours. To find Ori’s exact location please text 917-533-4703.


Website – October 7-9 The Center for Supportive Bureaucracy will be on the move! Ori Alon is traversing the length of 14th Street offering his services Saturday, October 8 from 1-4pm he can be found specifically on the south side between Sixth and Eighth Avenue of 14th Street Sunday, October 9 from 1-4pm, he can be found on the south side between First and Third Avenue Alexandra Antoine



Alexandra Antoine is a multidisciplinary artist. Her projects question the validity of race as a realistic concept and the ways in which it has fashioned our perceptions of each other and ourselves. She holds a BFA in Printmedia and Art Education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Project Title: I Am A Hueman

Project Description:

This project examines the humanity of people of color by celebrating different aspects of their hue through short descriptions placed on skin-colored cards. The card and the person’s photo are documented and shared on social media in real time. This interactive installation allows viewers the opportunity to share information about their hue, history, and heritage through guided prompts. Viewers can also take stickers with them to put up around the city.

Date: October 6 – 9


14th Street and Third Avenue, across the street from the Duane Reade

The Big Head Brigade



Led by founder and director Megan Marlatt, The Big Head Brigade is an artist collective that makes, exhibits, and performs in papier-mache “big heads”. The group has participated in exhibitions, performances, and arts events across the world, including Zurich, Prague, and New York City. They are based in Virginia.

Project Title: 2 Race and 3 Races

Project Description/Times:

October 7-9

1) The 3-Headed, Multiracial, Cargo Pocket Creature

Big Head Asian Megan, Big Head African Megan and Big Head Blue-eyed Blonde Megan will walk together down 14th Street, greeting the public in unity, living in cooperation, bonded together by their three-headed dress.


Friday, October 7 from 10-11 am, around Union Square

Saturday, October 8 from 10 – 11am on 14th Street between Sixth and Eighth Avenue

2) The Tortoise and The Hair

The quintessential RACE is Aesop’s tale, “The Tortoise and the Hare” however, the Big Head Brigade’s race is between the tortoise and the “hair” as Big Head Hare “Thump” will compete with the “Hillatortoise.”


Friday, October 7 from 2-3pm, around Union Square

Saturday, October 8 from 2-3pm, on 14th Street between Sixth and Eighth Avenue

Sunday, October 9 from 2-3pm, on 14th Street between First and Third Avenue

Emily Chow Bluck & Jennifer Harley 



Emily Chow Bluck is a socially-engaged artist whose praxis synthe­sizes polyvocal installations of subaltern value and self-determined futures. Jennifer Harley is a sculptor whose multimedia practice grows from her interests in material histories, body, intimacy, and the precarity of borders, boundaries, and materiality. Horizon Line is Bluck’s and Harley’s first collaborative work.

Project Title: Horizon Line

Project Description:

This public intervention combines performance and installation to investigate social geographic boundaries both physical and perceived, as well as the liminal space in between. Officially deemed unconstitutional, redlining was a pernicious policy that has had lasting implications on current discriminatory trends in urban neighborhood developments. Using the history of redlining in New York City as a point of departure, Horizon Line acts as a visual illustration of the policy’s physical presence while creating spaces for passersby to connect and contribute their experiences to a social biography of the city’s shifting landscape.

Date/Schedule: October 6 – 9

Location/Schedule: Across 14th Street, during Critical Mass. Drawing on 14th Street between Sixth and Ninth Avenues (West Vil­lage) and 14th Street at the Third Avenue intersection (East Village)

Joseph Buckley 



Joseph Buckley was born in 1990 in the UK. Recent solo shows include “Days of Madness & of Learning” at Public Exhibitions, UK; “The Demon of Regret” at International Studio & Curatorial Program, USA. Recent group exhibitions include “Most Loathed” in Los Angeles; “A Small Group Show of American and British Artists” at Space Space Gallery, Japan.

Project Title: Mathias Clone Windows

Project Description:

Digitally printed vinyl are applied to storefront windows, obscuring the entirety of the glass. The composition features photographs, commissioned illustrations, heraldically derived geometric designs, as well as several recurring infrahuman character-types from the artist’s practice (orcs, clones, pigs, etc).


Date: October 6

Location/Schedule: TBD – See the artist’s page on the AiOP: RACE website for location information



Born in Lagos, Nigeria and raised just outside of DC, chukwumaa makes work concerning liminal characters, trickster myths, and non-linear narratives. His work takes the form of found/soft sculptures, surreal performances, and other media experiments. chukwumaa has exhibited and performed at The Corcoran, Various Small Fires, and The Kitchen.

Project Title: Signal Drop


Project Description:

The artist generates a drawing of the drop-outs of a Bluetooth signal between his phone and a portable speaker by carrying them around the street and listening for interruptions in the sound. Each mark points back towards the origin of the signal (wherever the phone is placed) so the marked areas are clustered where the signal most frequently drops out.

Date: October 6-9

Location/Schedule: Performance will take place on Thursday, October 6 from 6-8 pm at East 14th Street between Fourth Avenue & Broadway. Installation will be visible throughout the festival.

The Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre



Founder and Artistic Director of The Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre, Vít Hořejš is dedicated to the preservation and presentation of traditional and not-so-traditional puppet theatre. The company performs at La MaMa, Theater for the New City, and has toured to 34 states and to international festivals in Europe and Asia since its founding in 1990.

Project Title: The New World Symphony: Dvořák in America, Phase 2

"The New World Symphony: Dvorák in America," written and directed by Vit Horejs, performed by Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre, La Mama Theatre March 8, 2016. L-R: Michelle Beshaw, Vit Horejs, Deborah Beshaw-Farrell, Valois Mickins, Ben Watts (as Dvorak), Theresa Linnihan. Photo by Remy.S .

“The New World Symphony: Dvorák in America,” written and directed by Vit Horejs, performed by Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre, La Mama Theatre March 8, 2016. L-R: Michelle Beshaw, Vit Horejs, Deborah Beshaw-Farrell, Valois Mickins, Ben Watts (as Dvorak), Theresa Linnihan. Photo by Remy.S .

Project Description:

“The New World Symphony: Dvořák in America, Phase 2” culminates the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre’s recent exploration of the creative adventures of the great composer and pedagogue Antonín Dvořák. As a visiting artist in New York City for three years (1892-1895) the composer of The New World Symphony was based and lived on East 17th Street. Dvořák reveled in the New World’s dynamic growth, technological innovation, and especially African-American and Native-American music and culture, which he declared would give rise to a truly new American music.


Date: October 8 – 9


There are 5 stops and an additional constantly moving performance from the Hudson River to Stuyvesant Park. Performers are following and sometimes ride a set piece de resis­tance–a ladder on casters. Saturday & Sunday, October 8-9

2:00-2:20 pm at the west end of 14th Street by the Hudson River.

2:25-2:40 pm High Line North of 14th Street

2:40-3:30 pm moving along 14th Street from Tenth Avenue to Irving Place

3:30-3:40 pm in front of Music Academy (Con Edison Headquarters) at Irving Place

3:45-4:00 pm in front of the former National Conservatory of Music of America at 17th Street & Irving Place

4:20-4:35 pm in front of Antonin Dvorak’s statue in the North-East Corner of Stuyvesant Park 17th Street.


Gearóid Dolan AKA screaMachine


Gearóid Dolan is an Irish artist working in New York. Since 1987, Dolan has been working on an ever-evolving project titled screaMachine, realized in the form of installations, performances, audio and video works, films, digital media art, and more. screaMachine works are experimental, and push the boundaries of new media, experiential, and time-based art.

Project Title: Protest

Project Description:

A roving video projection rig wanders up and down 14th Street each night after dark. Stopping at empty lots and buildings to project a semi-animated video work, Protest, 2014 featuring scenes from protests about the police killing of Eric Garner and the beginning of the Black Lives Matter movement in NYC. This is the 13th in a series depicting protest in NYC which started in 2003. These works aim to return these images to the streets.


Date: October 6- 9


This is an ad hoc performative piece taking place each night of the festival. The artist can be found wherever 14th streets allows, hoping to cover all of 14th Street over the course of the festival.

Nicky Enright 



Nicky Enright’s multimedia art has been exhibited internationally. He has also been an inaugural Fellow at A Blade of Grass Foundation and an apexart Global Fellow. He holds a BFA from The Cooper Union and an MFA from Hunter College. Born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, he is based in the Bronx, NY.

Project Title: Sense Us Census

Project Description:

The Sense Us Census is an intervention based on the ethnic and racial questions from the last official census of 2010. The artist takes a survey along one of the most diverse streets in the world, sparking conversations about America’s obsession with racial classification. He offers pedestrians the opportunity to select exactly how they wish to be identified, a choice the US Census has only offered since the year 2000. In this moment, participants pinpoint their sense of themselves, questioning the questions and thinking outside the little boxes.


Date: October 8-9


Saturday, October 8 from 12-6pm: Walking between Union Square Park and Ninth Avenue

Sunday, October 9 from 12-6pm: Walking between Alphabet City and Union Square Park

Ja’Tovia Gary 



Ja’Tovia Gary is a Brooklyn-based artist and filmmaker. She earned her MFA in Filmmaking from the School of Visual Arts. Her work has screened at festivals and institutions worldwide including Edinburgh International Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, the Schomburg Center, NYU Florence, and Indiana University Cinema.


Project Description:

A cinematic meditation on the concept of transcendence as a means for radical resistance and restoration. Employing montage editing techniques to weave together sound, analogue animation, and archival footage, the film is both an invocation and an explosive call to action.


October 6 – 7

Performances will take place on Thursday, October 6 and Friday, October 7 after dusk.

Breaking White Silence

Action Cards 2016 colors RGB


Brookyn artivists Jen Abrams, Sara Roer, Amanda Murray, Emma Grace Skove-Epes, Hyatt Bailey, Gus Gauntlett, Micky Shorr, and Sarah Kaplan-Gould lead this action, with artwork by Suzanne Broughel. The group comes from all walks of the art world; individual bios can be found at

Project Title: Breaking White Silence

Project Description:

Breaking White Silence is an artivist action and a collective of white anti-racist artists.  The artists place themselves in public space and invite passersby to talk about what it means to be white, and how white culture can serve to uphold structural racism – often without one’s knowledge or consent.


October 6


On 14th Street between 3rd Avenue and Irving (North Side of 14th street in front of Raymond Flanigan furniture store)

Thursday, October 6 from 6-8pm

Katya Grokhovsky & Luis Mejico 



Katya Grokhovsky is an interdisciplinary artist working with installation, sculpture, performance, video, and painting. Her work explores issues of gender, labor and the self. Luis Mejico is an interdisciplinary artist who integrates structures of social relationships into parameters of xis multimedia performances. Xis analyzes human bonds by enacting their characteristics.

Project Title: Let’s Talk About Race

Project Description:

This collaborative, participatory performance installation aims to engage the passersby in an intimate dialogue and exchange about race and racial politics. By asking difficult questions and facilitating a temporary safe space in an urban environment, the project explores issues of discomfort and tension around ideas of race and diversity, while actively involving the city’s population.

Project website:

Date: October 6 – 9


Thursday, October 6 from 3-6 pm on 14th Street and Avenue A

Friday, October 7 from 2-5 pm on 14th Street between Second and Third Avenues

Saturday, October 8 from 1-2 pm Critical Mass 14th Street between Sixth and Eighth Avenues and 2-5pm in Union Square

Sunday, October 9 from 1-2pm Critical Mass – 14th Street between First and Third Avenues and 2-5 pm on 14th Street and Ninth Avenue

Nola Hanson 



Nola Hanson is an artist living and working in Brooklyn, New York. Their transdisciplinary practice examines identity construction in mass culture. They earned their BFA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2014.

Project Title: Five Shoeshines (This is not a Race) 


Project Description:

In this performance the artist receives a shoeshine at five different locations along 14th street in Manhattan. The work explores aspects of identity, power, and labor through the ritual of shoe shining.


Date: October 7


Saturday, October 7th between 12pm-4pm

Five performances will take place as the artist traverses 14th Street from Ninth Avenue to Avenue C.

14th Street and Ninth Avenue

14th Street and Sixth Avenue

14th Street and Union Square

14th Street and Second Avenue

14th Street and Avenue C

David Hess



David Hess refers to found materials as rescued objects. For him, they are loaded with history and cultural narrative. Hess’ interests in science, engineering, and documentary filmmaking informs his sculptures. He frequently explores a precarious balance of elements poised on the verge of movement.

Project Title: Gun Show

Project Description:

Three years ago, amid daily headlines of mass shootings and gun violence, the artist began building an arsenal of 100 mock assault rifles, using only household and industrial detritus. The “guns” are displayed on canvas tarps on the ground, allowing people to interact with them and reflect on the polarizing conversation surrounding gun ownership in our country. This is an unconventional examination of the American obsession with deadly weapons, as the country attempts to untangle the contentious debate over the lethality of its possession of over 310 million guns.

Project Website:

Date: October 7-9


Each performance date will be from 1-6pm, on 14th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues

Nate Hill 



Hill makes socially engaged work using public spaces, both online and offline. Opting mainly to present work outside of the traditional art-world context, he engages with what he describes as the “non-gallery-going” population. Some of Hill’s most well-known works are Death Bear, White Power Milk, and Trophy Scarves.

Project Title: Fishin’ in the Dark

Project Description:

The artist runs with a
mechanical fish from the East River to the Hudson with a stop at Whole

Schedule, Location, Details:

“I’m going to run my mechanical fish from the East River to the
Hudson. I don’t really know why yet. It’s just something I need to do.
In between, at the Whole Foods fresh fish counter, I will act as a
medium between my mechanical fish and the dead fish. They will hum
quietly to each other. After that, I must get my mechanical fish to
the Hudson River before it dies. You are invited to run with me.”

Union Square Wholefoods fresh fish counter meeting times:

Thursday, October 6 at 5pm and 9pm

Friday, October 7 at 9am and 9pm
Saturday, October 8 at 9am and 9pm
Sunday, October 9 at 9pm


Madison Horne


Madison Horne graduated with a BFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts. Themes in her work branch from an exploration of her biracial family. She works through the complexities of identity, historic events, genealogical research, social issues, and personal accounts.

Project Title: Pharaoh

Project Description:

This installation serves as a memorial space for African-American slaves. A collection of light boxes is filled with images paying respect specifically to the artist’s family who were enslaved in Edgefield County, South Carolina. The photographs insert family members into old historic pictures of slaves living in South Carolina, also including images of where the artist’s ancestors were enslaved on what used to be a small cotton farm. Prayer cards are included at the site to engage the public in honoring those who survived the suffering, and empower those who continue to fight the fight of racial inequality.

Date: October 9


Sunday, October 9 from 2-6pm, at 14th Street and Ninth Avenue.

Walis Johnson, Murray Cox & Aimee vonBokel



Walis Johnson, has a MFA from Hunter College, working at the intersection of  social policy, documentary and performance. Collaborators, Murray Cox is a media activist who uses digital technology for social change; Aimee vonBokel is a visiting Fellow at Rice University, researching redlining and wealth accumulation.

Project Title: Red Line Archive

Project Description:

Can an artist intervention translate contested spacial and racial narratives that define the real and imagined landscape of a New York? The Red Line Archive is a mobile public art project that engages New York City residents in a conversation about race and the history of the 1938 Red Line Map that helped create the segregated urban landscapes of the city. This “cabinet of curiosities” is wheeled along city streets, inviting people to freely associate about artifacts from the artist’s family history in gentrifying Brooklyn, Loisaida and Stuyvesant Town along 14th Street from First Avenue to Avenue C.

Dates/Schedule: October 8-9

On both dates, the archive will travel along 14th Street between First Avenue and Avenue C on the north and south side of the street, lingering in front of vacant lots between Avenues B and C.

Saturday, October 8 from 2-6pm.

Sunday, October 9 from 2-6pm.

Masami Koshikawa 



Masami Koshikawa is a recent recipient of an MFA degree from the University of Central Florida. Koshikawa is a Japanese artist residing in Orlando, Florida since 2004.

Project Title: A Homeless Bride/ Marry Me in Manhattan

Project Description:

A Homeless Bride arrives from a foreign land, desperately seeking a Green Card in a race against time. For those who choose to marry her, a priest is present to perform the ceremony immediately at various locations along 14th Street.

Project Website:

Date: October 6-9

Location Schedule:

This project will occur at various locations along 14th Street. The choice of location shall be improvised. Performances are from 12pm till dusk.

Christina Lafontaine 



Christina Lafontaine is an installation artist, fabricator, art director, and animator based out of Brooklyn. Her work most often focuses on unseen parallel worlds and her interpretive imaginings of what these other worlds might look like. Christina recently received her MFA in Design + Technology from Parsons School of Design.

Project Title: Ethereal Ecologies

Project Description:

Ethereal Ecologies is an ongoing series of otherworldly installations situated within the urban landscape, exploring the concept of parallel worlds and the overlooked micro-worlds around us. Fourteen small scale installations are embedded in mundane spaces along 14th Street. A map of the general locations of these sites is available to participants. While hunting for each installation, viewers are taken on a journey that encourages the discovery of new details about the street, neighborhoods, and city that may have previously gone unnoticed, while allowing them to encounter and engage with these absurdly plausible other worlds.


Date: October 6-9

Location/Schedule: TBD – See the artist’s page on the AiOP: RACE website for a detailed map of locations.

Ian Nolan 



Ian Nolan is an Irish artist based in The Netherlands. Nolan primarily practices in public space. His process-led work employs a broad range of media and techniques, revealing new platforms for re-interpreting the nature of aesthetics, geopolitics, and their power structures.

Project Title: Positively 14th Street

Project Description:

Through sharing personal narratives, we share realities; creating, and often changing, the images of the world in which we live. With the aid of a specially-designed map of 14th Street, personal narratives connected with the area are available to listen to via mobile phone. Through a series of prompts, people are invited to share in the realities of an-other; changing their images of the world and reflecting on issues of race as they manifest themselves in public space.

Date: October 6 – 9


The locations for the individual audio narratives are chosen by participants. Individual narratives range from 2 to 5 minutes in length and can be accessed at any time during the day via mobile devices.

Lee Nutbean



Lee Nutbean is an International artist working at the transdisciplinary intersections of art and computation, across academia, research and the creative industries. His work explores the evolution of smart networked technologies through the participatory design of provocative prototypes that elicit, process and respond to inspirational data. These electronic ecologies culturally probe the dynamic networks within and between corporeal and viral spaces, to reveal new phenomena that confront, question and push new digital practices.

Project Title: Race* 

Project Description:

Race* is an LED window installation that provocatively searches online social media conversations for the word “race” (human categorization). If found the LED sign is switched on and the word Race* is illuminated. Enlightening arguments in favor of racial naturalism—the view that races have either natural essences, or some set of observable natural properties that are shared by all or most members of that race. If the online search reveals the term race has been replaced or is no longer found in social discussion, the sign is switched off. Promoting racial eliminativist recommendations to discard the term and concept of race altogether.

Date: October 6 – 9

Location/Schedule: Throughout the festival, from 1 O am- 6 pm at 14th Street Framing Gallery, 225 West 14th Street.

Eric Olson 



Eric Olson focuses on engaging conversations about scientific and mathematical ideas. Permanent works incorporate stone, steel, copper, and wood, with ephemeral works using moss, water, and ice. Completed works can found at Follow @rbuckminster on Twitter.

Project Title: Imagine


Project Description:

Imagine focuses on bringing about conversations of social injustices through serious consideration of the ridiculous question, “How many bubbles in a bar of soap?” which was asked during the Jim Crow Era to prevent minorities from voting. Two black and white “i” figures, with a “shimmering rainbow bubble mirror” suspended between them, evoke consideration of the concept of self and race. As the wind ripples across its reflection, a giant bubble forms that floats away, like a captured thought. The experience draws together the chemistry and physics of soap bubbles, with critical thinking about America’s history of racial injustice.

Date: October 8-9


A mobile platform is moved up and down 14th Street, concentrating on Union and Jackson Square Parks. From noon to dusk, throughout the festival.  The artist is distributing a brochure and inviting interested people to interact directly with the project.

Sheryl Oring 



Sheryl Oring has typed thousands of postcards to the President from locations across the U.S. since launching her “I Wish to Say” project in 2004. Her book, Activating Democracy: The I Wish to Say Project, will be published by Intellect Books in Fall 2016.

Project Title: Activating Democracy: The I Wish to Say Project

Project Description:

In previously staged performances, the artist invited the public to dictate postcards to the presidential candidate of their choice. For Art in Odd Places, Oring works with students from Monmouth University and others to create a public protest incorporating messages from these postcards. Several dozen students join the artist in a procession around Union Square. Participants are invited to carry handmade signs that share their demands for the next president.

Web link:

Date: October 8


The procession begins at Jackson Square and moves down to 14th Street to Third Avenue.

Saturday, October 8th from 4-6pm

Dominique Paul 



Dominique Paul performs using wearable structures which visually project data on themes of social inequality and environmental issues. She is represented by Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery in New York where she will have a solo in 2017. She has obtained an MFA from UNSW in Australia and a Ph.D. from UQAM in Canada.

Project Title: Interactive Median Income Dress Acting As a Social Interface

Project Description:

The artist wears an interactive structure that displays the median household income as she walks along 14th Street using census bureau data. The dress acts as a social interface to trigger discussion about gentrification. For AiOP: RACE she will also display median income of black households and of families with a woman as the head. Translating the data visually brings awareness to the physical space. Eight income brackets ranging from $0 to $200,000 + are represented in proportion by colored lights in the dress: red as the lowest, and blue as the highest income.  Dominique Paul wishes to thank the Conseil des arts de Longueuil and Université du Québec à Chicoutimi for their financial support and Patrice Coulombe, programmer.


Map inspiring the project:

The project:

Date: October 6-9

Thursday and Sunday: Dominique will be start­ing her walk at Avenue C and moving west towards Union Square beginning at 6 pm.

Friday and Saturday she will be starting at Eleventh Avenue and walking east towards Union Square beginning at 5:30 pm on Friday and 6 pm on Saturday.

She will be present during the opening on 14th between Seventh and Eighth Avenue Friday, October 7th from 6 pm.

Jaclin Paul 



Jaclin Paul is an artist researching American codes of conduct and cultural taboos surrounding phenotypes and identity construction.

Project Title: People Draw White People Survey

Project Description:

People Draw White People Survey asks members of the public to illustrate what they think a white person looks like to them. The goal is to create awareness about the perception of “whiteness” in America in 2016. The results will be published on

Date: October 7-9

Surveys are being conducted for as many hours a day that are physically possible for the artist. Location: TBD

Friday, October 7 beginning at 10 am

Sunday, October 9 beginning at 4 pm

PSU Art & Social Practice



Talk to Everyone and Everything About Race, is a socially engaged art project that prompts participants to talk with people (bodies) and places (architectures) about race in an ongoing and meaningful way. Questions serve as frameworks for discussions among people, places, things, and ideas. Ultimately, the conversations generate a continued dialogue.


Project Title: Talk to Everyone and Everything About Race

Project Description:

Talk to Everyone and Everything About Race, is a socially engaged portable art project that prompts participants to talk with people (bodies) and places (architectures) about race in an ongoing and meaningful way. The prompts serve as frameworks for discussions among people, places, things, and ideas. Ultimately, the conversations generate a new series of questions to continue these dialogues.

Date/Schedule: October 7-8

The artists will begin engaging the public in conversations at the following locations for one hour, then will begin moving along 14th Street for the next hour.

Friday, October 7, beginning at 1pm at the Salvation Army.

Saturday, October 8, beginning at 1pm at The Highline.

Mike Richison 



Mike Richison is a professor at Monmouth University’s Department of Art and Design. He is a multimedia artist who utilizes a variety of media and approaches, and he has exhibited and performed at venues and galleries within in the US and internationally.

Project Title: Video Voto Matic

Project Description:

Video Voto Matic combines a video from the current presidential race with a drum sequencer and a vintage voting machine. This interactive exhibit lets the audience remix the footage to make beats and loops. Users punch their rhythm into a “voting booklet” that mimics the infamous punchcard-style Votomatic voting machines used during the 2000 Florida election debacle. Instead of a providing the names of candidates, the booklet is filled with sample drum patterns. Follow the patterns suggested by the booklet or make up your own.


Date: October 7 – 9


On 14th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues

Kenya (Robinson)


Kenya (Robinson) is a socialite, mischief maker and international southerner, trying to get into grown folks’ bidness. Her work remixes narratives of power, performance, and privilege as a means of self-care. A past resident of LMCC’s WorkSpace Program, Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture and The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, she is currently a Thomas Hunter Artist-In-Residence at Hunter College.


Project Description:

Dave Fowler is the WHITEMANINMYPOCKET. He is white privilege – actual size. His miniature stature challenges corporate sanctioned mediocrity. Dave is from Omaha. Dave lives in a cave. But he is also a talisman. A reminder of perception and how its power can be manipulated. WHITEMANINMYPOCKET(S) is a to-scale physical materialization that asks: How is privilege colored by perception?

Kenya (Robinson) has created a virtual army of Daves that will gradually occupy the 14th street corridor. The artist encourages the talisman to be taken and their whereabouts documented using #WHITEMANINMYPOCKET. The diaspora will be chronicled on social media.

Date: October 6-9


Viewers spotting/taking/transporting Dave Fowler should hashtag his journey and whereabouts at #WHITEMANINMYPOCKET and follow him on Instagram at pocketmandave.

Nyugen Smith & Geraldo Mercado 



Nyugen Smith is an artist and educator whose interdisciplinary practice conflates African cultural practices and the residue of European colonial rule to expose concealed narratives and distorted realities. Geraldo Mercado is a performance artist whose work, largely autobiographical, mixes extreme physicality with themes of identity, race, religion, language, and pop-culture.

Project Title: Think High

Project Description:

The artists begin a long distance run in Harlem, making stops at pre-selected sites throughout Manhattan where historically significant “race related” events have occurred. Each location is reactivated by the artists as they pause to read relevant text, make poetic responses, or recite historical documentation. When the runners reach 14th Street at the East River, they will run across 14th Street to the Hudson River performing tasks that continue to challenge their physical and psychological conditions as they engage in dialogue about RACE.

Date/Schedule: October 9


Artists will be running from Harlem down to 14th Street, making pit stops at culturally relevant sites. Hoping to reach 14th Street between 2-3PM.

Elisabeth Smolarz 



Immigrating from Poland to Germany, Elisabeth Smolarz grew up on the cusp of two different cultures affected by a communist and democratic system. Consequently, she became involved in the idea of how consciousness and perception of the self-are formed by one’s surroundings.



Project Description:

This monument honors Henrietta Lacks and her famous HELA cells. Mrs. Lacks was an African-American tobacco farmer in Virginia who died in 1951 of cervical cancer. Her immortal cells were taken without her consent to help medical research in some of the most important advances in medicine: the polio vaccine, chemotherapy, cloning, gene mapping, and in vitro fertilization, just to name a few. Today, scientists have grown 20 tons of her cells, and there are almost 11,000 patents involving HeLa cells to date.

Date: October 7 – 9


Performances will take place in Union Square Park from 12pm-4pm

Maja Spasova 



Maja Spasova is a visual artist with a research and activist approach. She locates many of her projects in urban public spaces where the fundamental conditions of life exist, creating relations and processes that connect publics. Sound is essential to this relational praxis, with performance and installation supporting these sonic excursions that are poetic and existential in reach. Spasova has taken part in various international exhibitions and festivals, including Venice Biennale and ARTEC Nagoya.



Project Description:

In I Had A Dream Last Night (2016), actors walk along the street and read dreams dreamt the previous night that were donated by the public. These dreams—both personal and intimate—are presented in a manner resembling the speeches at demonstrations. Equipped with megaphones, headlamps, and short aluminum ladders, the actors spontaneously choose locations along 14th Street for each nighttime reading. The content of the readings change each evening as contributed dreams arrive each day from the public.

Date: October 6 – 9

Performances will begin after sunset each night of the festival, running from 7-11pm. Across 14th Street.

Christina Stahr 



Based on the concept and technique of collage, Christina Stahr’s work combines fragments of cultural and historical significance with segments of personal meaning. Her work is inherently tactile, sensory, and experiential, though it is abstract and minimal in its overall compositional structure. Stahr lives in New York City.

Project Title: Red Tape Labyrinth; Immigration Meditation

Project Description:

Red Tape Labyrinth; Immigration Meditation is a site-specific participatory art installation and performance site that speaks to the global immigration crisis. Located near the Hudson River and visible from the Highline above, this walkable labyrinth is outlined onto the sidewalk using red tape and recalls ongoing migrations risked on foot and over water. Passersby are invited to walk through its single, spiraling path, unconstrained by the usual bureaucratic “red tape” of immigration policies and to engage with the experiences of pilgrimage and migration.


Date: October 6-9


Sidewalk on West 14th Street between the Highline and Tenth Avenue


Performances and “labyrinth walks” will take place from 1-4pm on each day of the festival by Christina Stahr, dancer Annemarie Hollander, and musician Tom DeMott.

Saturday, October 8, Brian O’Mahoney will perform at 1pm, and Rebecca Pristoop will perform at 4pm.

Cole Sternberg



Cole Sternberg works across painting, installation, video, and writing, with his practice focusing on a variety of social issues, from current human rights activism and it’s relationship to the law, to the environment, to the media and concepts of content overload. He is interested in the intersection between humanity and humankind and how their lack of congruity hinders social progression and development.

Project Title: For a moment the concrete felt soft and warm


Project Description:

Sternberg creates a series of unique, hand-painted antique rugs and allows the elements of New York City—its people, architecture, and weather—to impress upon them. The resultant fraying of the carpets leaves an abstract trace of manmade and natural elements. However, it’s difficult to discern responsibility: who or what left these traces, and to what degree? This anonymity between human and nature is on par with the anonymous fabricators of these antique rugs culled from the archive of Woven Accents.

Date: TBD

Location: Salvation Army, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues