Pixelator is an unauthorized on-going video art performance collaboration with the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority, Clear Channel Communications, 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.

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14 Responses:

  1. jayp39 says:

    Wicked awesome.

  2. I wonder how many of those very low res videos will be porn.

  3. drkscrtlv says:

    Ooh. And ones for TVs as well... I'm now thinking about making one that I can slip on/off my tv easily.

    • sashamalchik says:

      make one yourself easily by gluing together a bunch of cores from used toilet paper rolls, covered by semi-transparent paper (like wax paper)
      we did this many years ago for a TV in our BM camp.

  4. bitwise says:

    See also: groovetube.
    Doesn't seem to be available any more, though.

  5. baconmonkey says:

    I wonder how many of those will get tagged?

  6. keimel says:


    Oh, sorry, I was in Boston recently. Must have rubbed off.

    • jesus_x says:

      Yeah, I was going say I wonder how long it will be before someone calls it a bomb.

      "It had sections, and was blinking in a suspicious manner."

    • ultranurd says:

      I was in a bar in Allston a few weeks ago, and they had a mooninite sign up above the bar with the beer logos.

  7. cavorite says:

    $274,000 a month per screen? What the shit?

    • dr_memory says:

      The screens are used to display 10-30 second advertisements: the $274k number is a guesstimate of how much it would cost to buy a whole month's worth of display time on them.

  8. xed_geek says:

    This is REALLY COOL!!!

  9. All the cost of NTSC or better resolution, and bandwidth, resulting in only 45 pixels of total content. It must be art!