If you don’t live in Long Island City, it can be a nice little getaway with its scenic views from the 7 train, sweet-smelling doughnut factories, and of course, some great art…
Jackson Ave, between Crane and Davis Sts.
The surface of this building, right across the street from P.S.1, serves as an enormous outdoor gallery for graffiti art. With the encouragement of the owner, graf artists large and small leave their mark on the walls, cars, and trashcans on the property. From sci-fi fantasies, to Rembrandt imitations, to straight-up tagging, the art here is more than you’d ever expect from a spray can. Take a walk all the way around the building and then up the stairways to the artist studios: the place is colorful inside and out.
John Kessler: The Palace at 4 A.M.
If holiday shopping kept you from seeing this show, make sure to stop by before it closes February 6. Kessler combines a homemade aesthetic with an obsession with surveillance cameras to create tripped-out image-making machines. The show is an overwhelming cacophony of kinetic sculptures, spinning cameras and clacking mechanisms whose logic only becomes evident after prolonged scrutiny. The flashing monitors, which appear at first to be playing pre-recorded videos, are actually showing live feed from the many surveillance cameras careening around the room. Collages of news images and magazine ads move in front of the cameras to create simulations of Iraq combat, the cockpit of a fighter plane, and the destruction of the Twin Towers. What seems to be a mess of slipshod constructions turns out to be a complex, finely tuned network of moving parts. Kessler’s sloppy craftsmanship is deceptive and ultimately distracting in the context of his witty, skillfully constructed videos.
If you still have energy for more:
Digital Play: Reloaded
The Museum of the Moving Image
This semi-permanent exhibition is a survey of video games, featuring playable stations and, that’s right, Dance Dance Revolution. Whether you go to study representations of violence in the media, or just want to kick some digital butt, this is worth a visit.
The Imagery of Chess Revisited
The Noguchi Museum
A recreation of the famous 1944 show organized by Marcel Duchamp and Max Ernst, this show features whimsical chess musings by Duchamp and chess pieces designed by Man Ray.