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Yeehaw! Meckseper Pumpjacks Go To (Fake) Work in Times Square

German-born New Yorker Josephine Meckseper traveled to Electra, the self-described “pumpjack capital of Texas” to gather source material for her new installation, Manhattan Oil Project, observing working pumpjacks in the vast panhandle prarie. On March 5, life sized kinetic sculptures of two of the ubiquitous pieces of oilfield equipment (minus the rust) began pumping away in New York’s Times Square.

Intended to provoke a moment of thought about the industrial underpinnings of luxe Manhattan consumerism, or the politics of oil, or the old economy/new economy divide, or energy conservation, or something, everyone agrees the pieces are funny and spectacular, although some of the press coverage for the Texas/New York overlay piece has been painful: Blake Gopnik of the Daily Beast starts off with the thoughtless: “Yeehaw! We done struck crude down alongside Times Square!”

The Manhattan Oil Project from ANIMALnewyork.com on Vimeo

also by Bill Davenport
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