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New York

by Catherine Wagley

936 Chung Kind Road is now home to a strange experiment: a no-frills room of vending machines and picnic tables. The machines dispense snacks and sodas of the world market variety, not the typical snickers and coca-cola, and the whole environment strikes me as refreshing because of its lack of pretension.

Called Automat, this snack shop resonates with the composed coolness of a gallery more than with the fullness of the nearby shops and restaurants. When I first saw it, I was sure it was some sort of venture into relational aesthetics. But, even if it is a Bourriaud-inspired undertaking, it doesn’t ask much of its visitors. You can wander in and wander out without engaging with anyone or anything. Its existence is unobtrusively witty.

Posted by Catherine Wagley on 11/17/08

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