This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

8Oct/11

KIM BECK: SKYWRITING! THE SKY IS THE LIMIT/NYC

Artist Kim Beck wants viewers to take photos of her live skywriting event this weekend and send her the photos (courtesy Kim Beck)

The High Line near 14th St.
Sunday, October 9, free, 4:00 - 7:00
www.thehighline.org
www.idealcities.com
space available slideshow

This past spring, Pittsburgh-based artist Kim Beck installed “Space Available” on Washington St. rooftops, consisting of three naked billboards that can be seen from the High Line. Commenting on the current state of America’s economy, the works appear three-dimensional but are actually flat. “Space Available” worked extremely well when the Trisha Brown Dance Company performed “Roof Piece” on and around the High Line, and now it should fit in even better with Beck’s latest project, “The Sky Is the Limit/NYC.” For the live event, being held October 9 from 4:00 to 7:00, Beck will have a skywriting plane write such advertising messages as “All Sales Final,” “Last Chance,” “Now Open,” and “Everything Must Go,” which will fill the air before fading away. “In The Wizard of Oz, the Wicked Witch of the West writes ‘Surrender Dorothy’ in the sky,” Beck explained in a statement. “‘The Sky Is the Limit/NYC’ echoes this vague threat, in this case of a double-dip recession, while using the media of smoke to create a drawing in the sky.” Beck also is interested in documenting the social gathering itself that will take place on the High Line and down below. “When, in Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, a crowd gathers to piece together skywriting, the spectacle unites disparate groups, as they cluster together to find meaning in the urban landscape. I am looking for folks to become a part of it by taking pictures.” Beck is encouraging viewers to take photos of the messages and post them online; she has even given shutterbugs tips on how to frame their pictures and also by identifying excellent viewing spots, which include the High Line, the Hudson River Greenway and Battery Park in Manhattan, East River Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park in Brooklyn, and Hoboken, Pier C, Maxwell Place Park, and Liberty State Park in New Jersey. In addition, Beck’s “Under Development” solo exhibition will run October 13 to November 12 at Mixed Greens, furthering her exploration of art, architecture, and commerce.

Comments (18) Trackbacks (1)
  1. IS NEW WORLD ORDER

  2. I think that Kim Beck is one of the best female artists in the world! Her work is so inspiring and she deserves to have some kind of recognition! <3 If you agree… then follow me on twitter @MrsHenderson1 OR add me as a friend on Facebook ;)

  3. Jesus. Everybody commenting here is off their damn rocker! Seriously TURN OFF THE FOX NEWS!
    First of all, what kind of terrorist would issue some kind of attack-warning via skywriting — a tedious, slow, difficult, and obvious display in the middle of the sky?
    And all of you people saying “we were about to leave the city!” or “I wanted to leave the city” should just leave already if you can’t handle some skywriting. Please leave.

  4. I was reading last chance above my head, my daughter freaked out and said she wanted to leave the city, she’s still scared of what happened sept 11. It really pissed me off!

  5. Umm…Yeah not the best idea ever. I am all for art and thought and pushing the envelope, but when all you see is ‘Last Chance” being slowly written over the New York skyline…I’m just saying…

    Abram, your kinda of a dick…btw..It’s understandable why people were nervous. Gotta say, NEVER in a million years would I think that NY would allow, and actually even pay for something like that….I kept thinking this must be something crazy cause NO WAY the city would allow someone to write “LAST CHANCE” over New York with a Plane

  6. It’s only threatening if your mind is reading it that way. It just made me ask questions about who might be responsible for the writing. The church? (Last chance to be saved?), a sale on furniture at ikea (last chance to get a good deal?), – I mean, it functions very well as art because it did make people respond and think about something collectively and started conversation and isn’t that the point? I took a picture with my phone instinctively but you can barely see it. Anyway, it made my day on a Sunday afternoon. I happened to be at Greenwood Cemetery and looked back at the grave stones and took it as an opportunity to seize the day. It could be the last chance for a lot of things, we have to live fully in each moment. That’s my take on it, take it or leave it.

  7. I’m all for art that inspires conversation, but writing “LAST CHANCE” above Manhattan is just clueless. Either that, or you knew very well the kind of reaction it would engender in people and did it anyway, so in that case you’re a disingenuous, inconsiderate famewhore.

    Now I didn’t run around like Chicken Little, but playing catch with my son in Union Square and seeing that message in the sky did make me think – is somebody about to do something stupid? Should I get my son inside? Etc. People with actual responsibilities in their lives have to think about these things – we don’t have the luxury of treating everything as an intellectual exercise.

    FWIW, the next message I saw was “NOW OPEN”, so at that point I dismissed it as a stupid marketing stunt advertising a new bar or something.

    In any case, congratulations on all the attention, which was the whole point in the first place, right? Glad you didn’t tax yourself too much coming up with interesting content.

  8. i saw this in union square while i was at work! everyone was taking photos of it and freaking out lol, glad to know it had nothing to do with terrorism.

  9. You people need to harden the f*ck up. Scared of sky-writing?!

    Take a good look at yourselves and break free of the television and its fear mongering.

  10. I had just left the new York film festival and looked up to see the plane in the sky, and the message. I do not usually freak out about terrorist activity but my heart started racing, perhaps irrationally, and without a context to the piece and just having left a film and stepping outside, I felt completely terrified. For me in that moment there was nothing artful or beautiful watching this play out. It was an awful terrible experience and the message was unclear, haunting and ominous. My only thought was to get the heck out of that area so I did not stay to read the more “uplifting” messages. Honestly this feels like some sick psychology experiment where an open ended comment can reflect the viewers own internal fears and anxieties. But threats in the sky in manhattan – again no matter how irrational the reality of this being a real threat – is not funny and certainly hard to appreciate as art. This seems so carelessly executed and I’m quite disappointed public funds were used for such a silly project.

  11. It’s 10 years after 9/11 and you’re an idiot. Stop living under a rock.

  12. A bit eerie, yes.
    Threatening? PLEASE. Go home to Ohio and suck your thumb!

    It was great!

  13. I thought it was inspired or planned by the Wall Street demonstrations. I hope others see it this way, as a way of further uniting the American people. It’s time for another ’60′s movement to take place. It is the LAST CHANCE, as any further power and momentum won by the opposition makes it that much harder to bring the world back to its senses. Great results from your ‘sky’s the limit’ installation. Bravo!

  14. All of these comments are downright embarrassing. You were “threatened” by “Last Chance?” Morons. I enjoyed watching it unfold for hours and found it wonderfully entertaining, certainly not threatening. You really think THAT’S the method a terrorist would use? And, you really think they would be allowed to fly their little bitty plane around for hours to do it? Good grief.

  15. Agree, “last chance” was a poor choice. If you’re going to do conceptual art, think it through first.

  16. Completely agree. What a terrible idea to do over New York City.

  17. agreed, zack. not smart at all.

  18. I WAS OUTSIDE MY APARTMENT BUILDING WHEN WE SEE “LAST CHANCE” WRITTEN IN THE SKY! WE WERE PLANNING TO STAY IN THE CITY BUT WE GOT FREAKED OUT AND WE WERE ON THE VERGE OF LEAVING WHEN WE FOUND OUT IT WAS AN ART EXHIBITION. ITS ALMOST A MONTH AFTER 9/11 AND YOU WRITE “LAST CHANCE” IN THE SKY??? REALLY??? FIND A BETTER PLACE TO FLY A PLANE WRITING THREATENING MESSAGES!!!!


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