Pixelator is an unauthorized on-going video art performance collaboration with the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority, CBS Outdoor, and its selected artists.
Since 2003, the MTA has made available for exhibition purposes 80 LED screens located at subway entrances across New York City. Unfortunately, the high cost of exhibiting (an estimated $274,000 per month per screen) prevents most artists from having access to these facilities. While the MTA’s effort to create more opportunities for video art exhibition in public spaces is to be commended, selected works remain wholly fixated on commercial goods and media conglomerate events, a short-sighted curatorial choice that regrettably ignores the full potential of these promising exhibition spaces.
In an attempt to broaden the scope of MTA’s video art series, Pixelator takes video pieces currently on display and diffuses them into a pleasant array of 45 blinking, color-changing squares. Since the project is an anonymous collaboration, the resulting video is almost entirely unplanned and unanticipated, with the original artists helping to create new works of art without any knowledge of their participation.
(Translation: Pixelator turns those ugly, blinding video billboard ads into something a little more pleasant.)
Step 1: Measure your target.
In NYC, video billboards are 27.5" x 49.5". Make sure your target is the same size before using these numbers.Step 2: Gather your materials.
- 2 sheets of 40"x60"x3/16" white foamboard (available at Pearl Paint for $7 a sheet)
- 1 sheet of Heavy Frost diffusion gel 4'x5' (available at Kits and Expendables in Long Island City for $30)
- 1 roll of white duct tape
- 6 boxes of Stik Tak or similar adhesive
- glue gun and a lot of glue sticks
- tape measure or yard stick
- box cutter
Step 4: Interlock the pieces.
Step 5: Tape the sides.
Step 6: Cut and glue the diffusion gel.
Step 7: On the back, generously apply Stik Tak to the corners and top edge.
Step 8: Attach to video billboard and enjoy.
Art Ate New York, Winner, October 2007
ExperimentaDesign Urban Play, September 2008
Conflux Festival, September 2009
Babelgum Metropolis Art Prize, Runner Up, December 2009
Why Participate?, August 2011
Venice Architecture Biennale, August 2012
Espacio Públic(itari)o, December 2020
Retinal Sounds, December 2020
"Ad Censor", Good Magazine
"Customised City", Icon Magazine
"Evolution of Street Art", Khooligan
"Windows and Wallpapering: Questions about Art, Technology and Poetic Interference", ModArt Magazine