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Petra Cortright's “Pink_Para_1stchoice,” 2013, was filmed in Times Square as part of the Midnight Moments artist show. Credit Times Square Arts

Petra Cortright’s core practice is the creation and distribution of digital and physical images using consumer or corporate software. Whether she is manipulating digital files into two-dimensional paintings in Photoshop or uploading videos to online platforms, the Internet is deeply ingrained in Cortright’s work. She became renowned for making self-portrait videos that use her computer’s webcam and default effects tools, which she would upload to YouTube and caption with spam text.

In Pink_Para_1stchoice (2013), Cortright performs a fragmented self-portrait, playing with the relationship between the computer screen and voyeurism, and the Internet’s effect on how we perceive subjectivity. The artist watches herself in the computer screen while singing along to a song we cannot hear. Through the webcam, Cortright presents herself as both subject and object, independent of any male or female gaze. In the context of a public screening, the work becomes a statement about the way women engage with the propagation of images on the Internet, both their own and those intended to represent or appeal to them.

For the month of May, Pink_Para_1stchoice will play on Times Square's electronic billboards each night from 11:57pm to midnight.

Midnight Moment is the world’s largest, longest-running digital art exhibition, synchronized on electronic billboards throughout Times Square nightly from 11:57pm to midnight. Presented by the Times Square Advertising Coalition and curated by Times Square Arts since 2012, it has an estimated annual viewership of 2.5 million.


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