When almost everyone stumbles blindly through the city, glued to a phone, a new series of digital works from the Public Art Fund is asking New Yorkers to pause their small screens to look at art on bigger screens around the city.
Now through March 5, the nonprofit will display Commercial Break at roughly four sites: the Brooklyn Barclays Center’s circular LED marquee; the Westfield World Trade Center mall in lower Manhattan; hundreds of porn-free LinkNYC kiosks; and on one of the most famous screens of all—a Times Square billboard. Notably, this is the organization’s first show to simultaneously display work in all five boroughs.
Commercial Break‘s antecedent is the Public Art Fund’s Messages to the Public, a series that ran on a Times Square lightboard through most of the 1980s, displacing the usual ads. Similarly, the 23 participating artists in this show interrogate the omnipresence of digital imagery, especially advertising, and its effect on real spaces, online and off.