The public art project will take the form of an escape room game, Puno will use the activity’s format of puzzles and riddles to examine issues of social dynamics.
An increasingly popular pastime in the United States, escape rooms have many different themes and involve groups of people — friends, family members, coworkers — that agree to be “locked” together in a room with one hour to collectively solve their way out. Puno will employ this model to consider how privilege and inequity manifest when groups of people are asked to navigate problem-solving together. The project will give the public access to a playful, challenging experience intended to be a catalyst to spark dialogue and meaningful exchange.
“In surveying the landscape of contemporary public art it became clear that many of the same artists are repeatedly receiving major commissions. We wanted to disrupt that narrative by opening up the opportunity to work with Creative Time to the next generation of greats working in the field. We were so impressed and honored by the breadth and range of creative visions proposed to us through the open call,” said Creative Time Executive Director Justine Ludwig. “Risa shares Creative Time’s mission in presenting art that sparks dialogue and addresses the timely topic of social dynamics. Just as we feel the public is important in making art accessible, we believe that institutions such as Creative Time can play a major part in supporting emerging artists.”
I’ve had a huge art crush on Creative Time for so long because of their commitment to kick-ass, unconventional, thought-provoking public art projects. They produce the kind of work I’ve always wanted to make… but until this open call, I didn’t have a way to get them to notice me.
I was one of 600+ artists from all 5 boroughs to apply, and I am honestly still kind of shocked that they chose my proposal. I’ve had some amazing opportunities in the past, but I’ve never applied to something and been the only artist chosen. (And I’ve applied to A LOT of open calls!) My proposal was chosen by a committee of six jurors: artist and educator Paul Ramirez Jonas, artist Spencer Finch, Spaceworks director Risa Shoup, curator Rashida Bumbray, artist Pablo Helguera, and Brooklyn Museum vice-chairwoman Stephanie Ingrassia. The three most common proposals were for performance art pieces, sculptural works, and interactive installations.
It’s always exciting when powerhouse organizations open the doors wide for anyone to apply. Even when I’ve gotten rejected, it’s great to know that those eyes are on my work. Some of my favorite projects have come from someone on a selection committee reaching out with a different opportunity that was more appropriate for the type of work I make.
The idea I proposed is something I’ve been dying to make, but it’s super ambitious and far beyond what I could do on my own. But thankfully, Creative Time basically makes the impossible possible. They embrace projects that are interactive, unusual, fun, and exciting, and it seems like no idea is too weird or challenging or risky to be considered. As someone whose work doesn't fit into a lot of the typical art world boxes, I am thrilled to partner with an organization that has a long track record of supporting artists who think outside of the box. I am truly grateful for this opportunity, and I am thrilled to get this adventure started!