UPDATE 2/25/02






Artists of all kinds are invited to participate in THE FREE BIENNIAL which will take place in New York during the month of April, 2002.

Any project which is nonmonetary in nature, and which takes place in public or quasi-public space in the greater New York area any time during the month of April 2002 is eligible.

Works which are not eligible include those where an admission is charged or where anything is for sale, as well as works not taking place within the time and space designated for the show (greater New York City area, month of April 2002).

Web-based projects are welcome, and will be represented by a description and a URL link. Mail art projects are also welcome, and will be represented by a description and a mailing address (the address may be anywhere in the world as long as participants in New York are invited).

Projects taking place in ordinarily private space (for instance apartment shows) are eligible if they are open to the public by appointment or during publicized hours.

Group projects and projects organized by collectives and independent curators are encouraged.

There is no deadline for participation, but if you wish your information to be included in publicity materials it must be received by MARCH 1, 2002. For inclusion in the website, information must be received by MARCH 30, 2002.

To enter, please read the ARTISTS FAQ and complete the ENTRY FORM


Wednesday, January 23, 2002

NEW YORK. This spring New York will host a different kind of art biennial, The Free Biennial.

The Free Biennial is an exhibition of free art in public spaces, open to any artist who wishes to participate. It will be held in New York during the month of April, 2002 (April 2 – April 30, 2002).

Functioning both as an exhibition, and as a situational artwork, The Free Biennial is a project of artist Sal Randolph who says: “It’s an experiment in presenting a show which is completely democratic and unedited. There’s always an element of the unpredictable when you open the doors.”

In an increasingly crowded field of international art expositions, the Free Biennial offers a new artistic situation, both for the viewer and the participating artist. For the artist, the Free Biennial eliminates the selection process – the curator as gatekeeper or filter. It puts the question of participation in the hands of the artist, and throws open the question of value.

For the viewer, the safety of traditional curatorship and spectacle is removed, allowing an experience which is more direct, raw, and intimate. The city is transformed into a place of potential where any encounter could be an artistic one. Armed with a map and the idea that art might be anywhere, the viewer is invited to step into the shoes of what Baudelaire and the Situationists called the flâneur, the wanderer, ready to experience anything.

“It’s a new way of looking at public space,” says organizer Sal Randolph. “We’ve gotten used to seeing public space as either institutional or commercial. Here is a way for artists and viewers to operate together as as citizens, engaged with the life of the city. It holds out possibility for the values of generosity and civility, which we are so in need of at this time.”

“There’s plenty of free artwork out there,” Randolph adds, “but there’s very little context in which to show it. It’s one of the hidden art movements of our time. This show aims to provide a context which will make the underground gift economy of art more visible.”

Randolph’s other recent projects have included FREE WORDS in which 2,000 copies of a free book are being infiltrated into bookstores and libraries worldwide.